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עמוד בית
Fri, 19.07.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 11

Journal 5, May 2009
pages: 261-265

Varicella Pneumonia in Southern Israel: Clinical Characteristics, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Considerations

    Summary

    Background: The most common and most serious complication of varicella (chickenpox) in adults is pneumonia, which can lead to severe respiratory failure. Varicella pneumonia is associated with considerable morbidity and even death.

    Objectives: To summarize our experience with varicella pneumonia in terms of clinical, laboratory and radiological characteristics as well as risk factors, management and outcome.

    Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort survey in our facility from 1995 to 2008.

    Results: Our cohort comprised 21 patients with varicella pneumonia, of whom 19 (90%) were men; their mean age was 35 ± 10.5 years. Nineteen patients (90%) were Bedouins and 18 (86%) were smokers. Eleven (52%) were admitted to the Medical Intensive Care Unit; 3 of them required mechanical ventilation and the remaining 10 (48%) were admitted to the general medical ward. Median length of stay was 6 ± 7.7 days. Hypoxemia and elevated lactate dehydrogenase on admission were associated with respiratory failure. Radiological manifestations were variable and nine patients exhibited characteristic findings. All but one patient were treated with acyclovir. All patients fully recovered.

    Conclusions: In southern Israel varicella pneumonia is primarily a disease of young male Bedouins who are smokers. Severity ranges from mild disease to severe, resulting at times in respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. Prognosis is favorable with complete recovery.

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