Varicella Infection in Pregnancy

Authors

  • Deborah E. McCarter-Spaulding RNC, MS, IBCLC

    Corresponding author
    1. Deborah E. McCarter-Spaulding is a women's health nurse practitioner and an adjunct instructor at Boston College, School of Nursing, Chestnut Hill, MA.
      Address for correspondence: Deborah E. McCarter-Spaulding, RNC, MS, IBCLC, Boston College, School of Nursing, 140 Commonwealth Awe., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3812. E-mail: mccartdw@bc.edu.
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Address for correspondence: Deborah E. McCarter-Spaulding, RNC, MS, IBCLC, Boston College, School of Nursing, 140 Commonwealth Awe., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3812. E-mail: mccartdw@bc.edu.

Abstract

Varicella (chickenpox) is a common childhood illness. Most adults are immune to the virus because of previous exposure. Pregnant women who contract varicella risk complications such as pneumonia. Varicella may be transmitted from mother to fetus and could cause congenital varicella syndrome or perinatal infection. Susceptibility to varicella should be determined before pregnancy. Varicella zoster immune globulin may be considered for the mother or newborn if exposure occurs. Acyclovir may decrease the risk of maternal complications from infection.

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