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Tuberculosis and Varicella Infections in Children

Mark A. Belsey, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1967;113(4):444-448. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1967.02090190090007.
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VARICELLA has not been known to affect the course of tuberculosis in children despite suppression of the tuberculin reaction during varicella.1-3 Although altered radiologic findings in children with primary tuberculosis complicated by varicella have been described, these changes have been attributed to varicella pneumonia rather than to alteration of the tuberculous process.4,5

An outbreak of varicella in the children's Tuberculosis Ward of the San Francisco General Hospital permitted close observation of the effect of varicella on tuberculosis.

Laboratory Studies  Tuberculin skin tests were performed on all patients on admission. On the second to fourth day of varicella rash, a tuberculin test was placed on the left forearm by me using 0.1 ml of standard RT-23 Purified Protein Derivative (0.02 μg PPD/0.1 ml*),6 and read by me 48 hours later. I repeated tuberculin tests on the right forearm one month later using the same lot of RT-23 PPD.

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