Case Report: Occupationally Related Recurrent Varicella (Chickenpox) in a Hospital Nurse
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CitationKu, Chih-Hung, Yu-Tien Liu, and David C. Christiani. 2005. Case Report: Case report: occupationally related recurrent varicella (chickenpox) in a hospital nurse. Environmental Health Perspectives 113(10): 1373-1375.
AbstractCommonly accepted outcomes of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infections include chickenpox (primary) and shingles (recurrence or latency), as well lifetime immunity against chickenpox. We report the case of a registered nurse who worked in a neurologic surgery ward in a general hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. While working there for approximately 1 year, she developed recurrent chickenpox after caring for a paraparesis patient, who had herpes zoster during hospitalization in August 2002. The varicella incubation period was 10 days, which matched the range (10–21 days). Recently negative specific serum IgM and positive specific serum IgG indicated a past VZV infection. The nurse did not get herpes zoster from the second episode of varicella on 9 August 2002 to 4 April 2005 and is now convalescing. We conclude that occupational VZV hazards exist in the health care environment and suggest testing for VZV antibody and a VZV vaccination program for susceptible health care workers.
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