Modified varicella-like syndrome

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1996 Sep;10(3):617-29. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5520(05)70317-2.


After incidental exposure to natural varicella, up to 18% of vaccinees reported a breakthrough infection known as modified varicella-like syndrome (MVLS) over up to 10 years of postvaccination follow-up, compared with natural varicella occurring in similarly aged unvaccinated children at the rate of 9% per year. Children with MVLS are frequently asymptomatic, and their disease is characterized by having fewer lesions, less fever, and lasting fewer days than natural varicella. When a case of MVLS occurs there are few secondary cases, suggesting that it is infrequently transmitted. Sequelae such as secondary bacterial infection, cerebellar ataxia, encephalitis, and pneumonia occur infrequently.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chickenpox / epidemiology
  • Chickenpox / prevention & control
  • Chickenpox / virology*
  • Chickenpox Vaccine / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Herpes Zoster / epidemiology
  • Herpes Zoster / prevention & control
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology
  • Humans


  • Chickenpox Vaccine