What is the prognosis of encephalitis in pediatric chickenpox?

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

Encephalitis occurs in 1.7 patients per 100,000 cases of varicella among otherwise healthy children aged 1-14 years. The disease manifests during acute varicella a few days after rash onset. Lethargy, drowsiness, and confusion are the usual presenting symptoms. Some children may have seizures, and encephalitis can rapidly progress to deep coma. This serious complication of varicella has a 5-20% mortality rate.


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