Predictive value of a self-reported history of varicella infection in determining immunity in adults

Holmes, Candice N.; Iglar, Karl T.; McDowell, Brenda J.; Glazier, Richard H.
November 2004
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;11/9/2004, Vol. 171 Issue 10, p1195
Academic Journal
THE RECENT INTRODUCTION OF A VACCINE FOR VARICELLA has raised questions about whether, for adults, a patient's history of varicella infection is useful in determining if vaccination is necessary. We report findings on 184 family medicine patients aged 18 to 65 years who were asked if they had a history of varicella infection and were subsequently tested for varicella antibodies. A history of infection was positive for 114 (62%) of the participants and negative or uncertain for 70 (38%). All 114 subjects who reported a varicella infection history were immune. All 4 subjects who were not immune reported an uncertain or negative infection history. Except for people who are at increased risk of varicella infection or complications from infection, serologic testing may not be required for adults in the general population who have a history of varicella infection.


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