How is varicella-zoster virus (VZV) pneumonia prevented?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Answer

A live attenuated varicella vaccine is recommended for patients who did not have varicella infection by age 13 years and for anyone who is susceptible to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) (VZV antibody negative). The vaccine should not be given to pregnant women. Children are now routinely immunized before age 12-18 months.

Intramuscular administration of varicella-zoster immunoglobulin (125 U/10 kg to 625 units maximum) is indicated as passive immunization of VZV-seronegative personnel at risk for complications within 96 hours of being exposed to VZV (eg, immunosuppressed hosts, such as those with HIV or with malignancies; those on long-term steroid therapy; pregnant patients, and neonates whose mothers acquire VZV within five days before, to 48 hours after, delivery).


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