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Volume 39, Number 5, October 2006

Complications of varicella infection in children in southern Taiwan

Chia-Yu Chi, Shih-Min Wang, Hui-Chen Lin, Ching-Chuan Liu
Division of Clinical Research, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan; and Departments of Pediatrics and 3Emergency Medicine, National Cheng Kung University and Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan

Received: June 28, 2005    Revised: January 15, 2006    Accepted: February 9, 2006   


Corresponding author:

Dr. Ching-Chuan Liu, Department of Pediatrics, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 70428, Taiwan. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Background and purpose: 

This study was designed to compare the change in complications of varicella infection in children requiring hospitalization before and after varicella vaccine introduction at a tertiary care hospital in southern Taiwan.




Based on the results of a retrospective study conducted in the pre-vaccine era (1988-1998), a second study was carried out from 1998-2004 (post-vaccine era). In children admitted for varicella-related complications, demographic data, clinical features, microbiological findings, and outcomes were recorded and compared between the two eras.




A decreased annual rate of hospitalization was observed between the two eras. Age-specific hospitalization rates significantly declined in the age group of 1-10 years after vaccine introduction. Secondary skin or soft tissue infections were the most common complications in both periods (pre-vaccine era, 44.1%; post-vaccine introduced era, 56.6%). In the post-vaccine era, 23 (52%) patients had positive bacterial isolates, including 19 Staphylococcus aureus (12 oxacillin-sensitive, 7 oxacillin-resistant) and 4 coagulase-negative staphylococci; a higher rate of pneumonitis and lower rate of central nervous system involvement were also observed. No differences were observed in other complications between the two eras. In the post-vaccine era, hematological diseases were the most common underlying conditions (17/18, 94%). The case-fatality rate in the post-vaccine era (1.3%) was similar to that in the pre-vaccine era (2.2%).




Elderly people and those with underlying diseases are particularly susceptible to GBS infections. Preventive strategies, including GBS vaccine and skin care, are likely to be particularly important in these high-risk groups.



Key words:

Chickenpox, chickenpox vaccine, hospitaliztion, morbidity, Staphylococcus aureus


J Microbiol Immunol Infect2006;39:402-407.