What is the causative organism of pediatric chickenpox?

Updated: Nov 30, 2018
  • Author: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

The causative organism, varicella-zoster virus, is a member of the human herpesvirus subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae and, like all herpes viruses, is a DNA virus. The virus enters through the respiratory system (conjunctival or upper respiratory mucosa) and colonizes the upper respiratory tract. Viral replication takes place in regional lymph nodes over the next 2-4 days; 4-6 days later, a primary viremia spreads the virus to reticuloendothelial cells in the spleen, liver, and elsewhere.


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