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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 524-527

Outbreak of chickenpox in a Union Territory of North India

1 Department of Virology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
M P Singh
Department of Virology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.167335

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Purpose: Primary infection with a varicella-zoster virus (VZV) leads to chickenpox. Though the incidence of the disease has decreased in many developed countries due to the introduction of the varicella vaccine, outbreaks continue to occur in developing countries. Materials and Methods: The present study reports an outbreak of varicella in an urbanised village in the vicinity of Chandigarh City in North India in November 2013. The outbreak was confirmed by the detection of VZV IgM antibodies in serum samples of clinically suspected patients. Vesicular fluid samples were collected from 8 patients with active lesions and tested for VZV DNA by polymerase chain reaction. Blood samples were also collected from 17 healthy controls residing in the same locality and tested for the presence of VZV IgM and IgG antibodies. Results: A total of 18 cases occurred, and the majority of them (67%) were <15 years of age. Of 17 samples collected from patients with the clinically suspected disease, 13 (76.5%) showed the presence of VZV IgM antibodies. Of the healthy controls, 6 were VZV IgM positive and 4 of them developed symptomatic disease on follow-up. VZV DNA was positive in 5/8 (62.5%) of the patients. In one patient, VZV DNA was detected in the absence of an IgM antibody response. Conclusion: The introduction of varicella vaccine in the universal immunisation programme of India may help to prevent these outbreaks; however, the cost-benefit analysis needs to be carried out before making such policies.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

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