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Chickenpox: an ageless disease
  1. Annalan Mathew Dwight Navaratnam,
  2. Nan Ma,
  3. Maria Farrukh,
  4. Aza Abdulla
  1. Department of Geriatric Medicine, Princess Royal University Hospital, Orpington, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Annalan Mathew Dwight Navaratnam, amnavaratnam{at}


A 97-year-old woman presented with 4-day history of vesicular rash, initially at the feet but then spread up to the thighs bilaterally, abdomen and trunk. The initial differentials included bullous pemphigus and cellulitis by the emergency department. She was then managed as bullous pemphigus by the acute medical team and started on high-dose steroids, with no other differentials considered. When her care was taken over by the general medical team, varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection was suspected. After confirmation by the dermatology team regarding the clinical diagnosis and the positive VZV DNA swabs, she was started on acyclovir.

  • infections
  • skin
  • geriatric medicine
  • varicella zoster
  • vesicular rash

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  • Contributors AMDN conducted the literature search and created the manuscript. NM, MF and AA were all directly involved in the management of the case. All authors reviewed and edited the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.