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Asia Pac J Public Health. 2010 Apr;22(2):219-24. doi: 10.1177/1010539509334625. Epub 2009 May 1.

Susceptibility of New Entrant University students in Sri Lanka to varicella zoster infection.

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  • 1Departments of Microbiology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.


To investigate the susceptibility of Sri Lankan new entry university students to varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection, a cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out among new entrant medical and engineering students of the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Self-reported history of chicken pox was studied first, followed by serological evaluation for VZV IgG antibodies. A total of 451 students participated in the study out of which 189 (41.9%) reported a history of chicken pox. Median age of reported age of acquiring the disease was 14 years with an interquartile range of 10 to 17 years. Only 25% of the population reported history of infection prior to age of 10 years. The seropositive rate of VZV IgG antibodies among undergraduates with a negative history of chicken pox was 10.1% ( 25/247). The present study indicates that nearly half (222/436) of the study population (50.9%, 95% CI 46.2-55.6) was susceptible to VZV infection.

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