Congenital Varicella

Also known as: congenital varicella syndrome, newborn varicella-zoster infection.

What is congenital varicella?

Congenital varicella can occur after a mother is infected with chickenpox (the varicella zoster virus) early in pregnancy. The virus is passed to the unborn fetus, ultimately leading to congenital varicella.

What causes congenital varicella?

The varicella zoster virus is the direct cause of congenital varicella. The infection most commonly occurs in the fetus during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

What are the symptoms of congenital varicella?

Red skin or scars on the skin, limb malformations, brain problems, low birth weight, small head size, eye problems, developmental delays and trouble with involuntary functions are all potential symptoms of congenital varicella.

What are congenital varicella care options?

Mothers can prevent congenital varicella by getting vaccinated for chickenpox. Babies born with congenital varicella are injected with Varicella-zoster immune globin immediately after birth to reduce the severity of the disease.

Reviewed by: Carolina Sanchez-Vegas, MD

This page was last updated on: October 01, 2019 03:46 PM

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Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection that causes itchy spots in children who haven’t had the disease or been vaccinated against it. Learn more