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Congenital varicella syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Fetal effects of Chickenpox
  • Fetal effects of varicella zoster virus
  • Fetal varicella infection
  • Fetal varicella zoster syndrome
  • Varicella Embryopathy
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Congenital varicella syndrome is an extremely rare disorder in which affected infants have distinctive abnormalities at birth  due to the mother's infection with chickenpox (maternal varicella zoster) early during pregnancy (i.e., up to 20 weeks gestation). Affected newborns may have a low birth weight and characteristic abnormalities of the skin, brain, eyes, the arms, legs, hands, and/or feet, and/or, in rare cases, other areas of the body. The range and severity of associated symptoms and physical findings may vary greatly from case to case depending upon when maternal varicella zoster infection occurred during fetal development.[1]
Last updated: 8/1/2011


  1. Congenital Varicella Syndrome. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2005; Accessed 8/1/2011.
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Basic Information

  • You can obtain information on this topic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Congenital varicella syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.