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J Pediatr Health Care. 2006 Sep-Oct;20(5):300-3.

Herpes zoster in childhood.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Herpes zoster is caused by reactivation of latent varicella-zoster virus that resides in a dorsal root ganglion. Herpes zoster can develop any time after a primary infection. Because varicella vaccine is a live attenuated virus, herpes zoster can develop in a vaccine recipient. The incidence of herpes zoster among vaccine recipients is about 14 cases per 100,000 person-years. In young children, herpes zoster has a predilection for areas supplied by the cervical and sacral dermatomes. The most common complications are secondary bacterial infection, depigmentation, and scarring. Although the diagnosis of herpes zoster is based on a distinct clinical appearance, viral DNA analysis of the lesion by polymerase chain reaction or restriction fragment length polymorphism is necessary to differentiate wild from vaccine-type viruses. Acyclovir is the treatment of choice for herpes zoster.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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