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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2010, Article ID 561707, 3 pages
Case Report

Chickenpox at Ninety Four: A Case for Extending the Use of Varicella Vaccine in the UK

1Department of Microbiology, Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, West Park Hospital, Horton Lane, Epsom, Surrey KT19 8PB, UK
2Oxshott Medical Practice, Holtwood Road, Oxshott, Surrey KT22 0QL, UK

Received 16 January 2010; Revised 7 April 2010; Accepted 7 April 2010

Academic Editor: Liang Kung Chen

Copyright © 2010 Justin Bendig and Fiona Sindall. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A case of chickenpox in a 94-year-old female is described. Serological tests for Varicella zoster virus (VZV) performed on early and late serum samples confirmed primary VZV infection. The patient recovered but seventeen days after presentation she developed a stroke from which she subsequently died. Chickenpox in older people is relatively rare—this case may be the oldest case of laboratory-proven chickenpox described—but it is a life-threatening illness. The varicella vaccine is licensed for use in immunocompetent persons of 12 months of age or older but in the UK is only offered to susceptible healthcare workers and close contacts of immunocompromised patients. In the US, the vaccine is recommended for all susceptible adolescents and adults. The same recommendation should be made in the UK.