Fatal varicella pneumonia in an unvaccinated child with Down Syndrome: a case report

Diletta Valentini, Simona Bianchi, Chiara Di Camillo, Anna Chiara Vittucci, Michaela Veronika Gonfiantini, Rita De Vito, Alberto Villani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Varicella is an acute infectious disease common during childhood. It has mostly an uncomplicated course in early childhood. Neverthless, it may result in severe complications, especially in particular age groups and clinical conditions. Down Syndrome represents a risk factor for developing complications, because of the frequent comorbidities and their immunodeficiency. Case presentation: A 2-year-old white Caucasian female affected by Down Syndrome was referred to our hospital for cardiac arrest in course of varicella disease. After cardiopulmonary resuscitation and stabilization, her clinical conditions didn't improve and she developed a massive pulmonary hemorrage, which led her to exitus. Conclusions: Mortality due to varicella infection is rare, but it is more common in subjects with immune deficit or chronic pathologies, and in particular age-groups. The importance of the vaccine for preventable infectious diseases is stressed in this paper, in which we present a case of death in an unvaccinated cardiopathic child with Down Syndrome affected by varicella.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 17 2016


  • Case report
  • Down Syndrome
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Pneumonia
  • Vaccination
  • Varicella

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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