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Should all adults with varicella be prescribed antiviral treatment?

D Ashley R Watson
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (5): 259.
doi:
10.5694/mja12.11776

To the Editor: A previously healthy young man with a 1-day history of fever and a rash receives a clinical diagnosis of chickenpox from his general practitioner. Should he be treated with an antiviral drug such as aciclovir?

D Ashley R Watson, Infectious Diseases Physician
The Canberra Hospital, Canberra, ACT.
Article References: 
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Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Principal diagnosis data cubes. Canberra: AIHW, 2012. http://www.aihw.gov.au/principal-diagnosis-data-cubes (accessed Feb 2013).
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Antibiotic Expert Group. Therapeutic guidelines: antibiotic version 14. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines, 2010.
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Wallace MR, Bowler WA, Oldfield EC 3rd. Treatment of varicella in the immunocompetent adult. J Med Virol 1993; Suppl 1: 90-92.
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PubMed ID: 
8245900
Reference Text: 
Tunbridge AJ, Breuer J, Jeffery KJ. Chickenpox in adults — clinical management. J Infect 2008; 57: 95-102.
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PubMed ID: 
18555533
Reference Text: 
Albrecht MA. Treatment of varicella–zoster virus infection: chickenpox. Waltham: UpToDate, 2012. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-varicella-zoster-virus-infection-chickenpox (accessed Feb 2013).
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Gilbert DN, Moellering RC Jr, Eliopoulos GM, et al. The Sanford guide to antimicrobial therapy. 42nd ed. Sperryville: Antimicrobial Therapy, 2012.
Reference Order: 
6

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