The purpose of this report is to describe 4 cases of varicella in infancy associated with fatal hypoglycemia. A hypothesis has been developed which relates the observed hypoglycemia to the effects of salicylates, and an attempt has been made to substantiate this hypothesis experimentally.
Report of Cases
Case 1.—This 4-month-old white female was considered entirely well until she developed chickenpox after exposure to an older sibling. The pregnancy, delivery, and her growth and development were entirely normal. She received her second dose of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine 3 days before the onset of varicella. On the third day of the illness she vomited all feedings, and on the fourth day she was admitted because of unresponsiveness and emesis of coffee-ground material.On physical examination she was a well-developed and nourished, comatose and flaccid infant who weighed 8.1 kg.; her temperature was 36.5 C (97.7 F), pulse