Which white blood cell count results are characteristic of pediatric chickenpox?

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

Most children with varicella have leukopenia in the first 3 days, followed by leukocytosis. Marked leukocytosis may indicate a secondary bacterial infection but is not a dependable sign. Most children with significant secondary bacterial infections do not have leukocytosis; neutrophilic leukocytosis and neutrophilia occur in only a few cases involving serious bacterial infections. Investigations cannot be relied on to diagnose or exclude bacterial infection.


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