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MCQs in Tropical Medicine

Rob Skelly DTM+H FRCP

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Answer 59

Chicken pox
False a. has an incubation period of 3-5 days
False b. rash is preceded by Koplic's spots in the mouth
False c. fever settles when the rash appears
False d. should be treated by topical acyclovir
True e. may follow from close contact with a case of shingles

The incubation period is 11-20 days, usually 2 weeks.
Koplic's spots precede the maculopapular eruption of measles.
The fever generally lasts about a week and settles as the last crop of spots appears.
The use of acyclovir in uncomplicated chicken pox is controversial. Systemic acyclovir should be used in complicated chicken pox, particularly in adults. Recognised complications of chicken pox include impetigo, pneumonitis, encephalitis and thrombocytopaenia.
Non-immunes can acquire chicken pox from people with either chicken pox or shingles. Shingles occurs when immunity is lowered in a person who has suffered from chicken pox in the past.

Copyright: Rob Skelly 2006