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OP-018 Pediatric patients hospitalized with varicella infection during the covid-19 pandemic
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  1. Ozlem Ozgur Gundeslioglu1,
  2. Zeliha Haytoglu2,
  3. Ummuhan Cay1,
  4. Derya Alabaz1
  1. 1Cukurova University, Faculty of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Infection Diseases, Adana, Turiye
  2. 2Cukurova University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Adana, Turkiye

Abstract

Aim While chickenpox typically presents as a mild illness in healthy children, it can result in more severe complications for adults, infants, pregnant women, and individuals with compromised immune systems. Complications may include bacterial infections of the skin, pneumonia, encephalitis or even death in rare cases. Vaccination against varicella has greatly reduced the incidence and severity of the disease. Vaccination contributes to herd immunity, reducing the overall spread of the virus within communities and protecting those who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons. With the introduction of the Chickenpox vaccine into the national vaccination schedule in 2013, a single dose vaccination regimen has been implemented in our country. We aimed to evaluate patients requiring hospitalization due to a diagnosis of Chickenpox ten years after the vaccine’s introduction into the schedule.

Material and Method The data of 15 patients hospitalized and monitored in our University’s Pediatric Infectious Diseases service with a diagnosis of Chickenpox between January 2019 and January 2023 were retrospectively evaluated.

Results There were 15 patients including, 8 boys (53.3%), 7 girls (46.7%) median age 65 months(min 2 max113 months). Four patients had not received prior vaccination. All patients had comorbidities. 3 patients developed skin infections (20%), 3 developed pneumonia during the infection (20%), 1 required admission to the intensive care unit (6.7%), and 4 received intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy (26.7%).

Conclusions Individuals with comorbidities, who have compromised immune systems or other risk factors, face a heightened risk of severe consequences from infections. Implementing herd immunity via widespread vaccination can halt the transmission and spread of infection to these individuals. Hence, we suggest reconsidering single-dose vaccination in the national immunization program and adopting a two-dose vaccination regimen instead.

  • Comorbidities
  • Herd immunity
  • Pediatric patients
  • Varicella

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