What is breakthrough chickenpox (varicella) and how is it different from conventional primary chickenpox (varicella)?

Updated: Aug 31, 2020
  • Author: Anthony J Papadopoulos, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Breakthrough varicella, which is seen in previously immunized persons, is a well-known clinical entity. [33] The disease course is typically much milder than conventional primary varicella and is characterized by an atypical clinical presentation in which only a few papules or papulovesicles are present, but severe disease with pneumonitis or other organ involvement can occur. Transmission of VZV to other individuals may occur, although at lower rates than in nonimmunized people with primary varicella.

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