M R Lokeshwar
Chickenpox - Complications
What are the complications of chickenpox?
The commonest complication of chickenpox is secondary bacterial infection of the skin lesions. Pruritus and scratching associated with chickenpox and practice of not bathing the infected child with rash contribute to the occurrence of this complication. These infections are usually caused by invasion of varicella lesions by staphylococcus aureus or streptococcus pyogenes.

Of the complications unrelated to the varicella rash, the most common complication of varicella infection is acute cerebellar ataxia. This condition is characterized by nystagmus, headache, nausea, vertigo, vomiting, altered speech and neck stiffness. It develops any time between 10 days before and 21 days after the onset of rash. Most sufferers recover completely. An association has been described between the use of aspirin in febrile children with varicella and Reye's syndrome. Other CNS complications of varicella in immunocompetent children include varicella encephalitis, aseptic meningitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Ramsay Hunt syndrome and Bell's palsy.

Chickenpox Chickenpox 02/04/2002
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