Saudi Critical Care Journal

: 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 130--133

Herpes zoster coinfection and the current COVID-19 pandemic

Irfan Altaf 
 Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Irfan Altaf
Vishram Sadan Complex. Dr Irfan Altaf, JPNATC AIIMS, New Delhi-110 029

Clinical presentation of COVID-19 infection can be variable in the current pandemic, even in patients presenting to the clinic with mild history of upper respiratory complaints. Various cutaneous manifestations have been noticed in COVID-19 patients with herpes zoster (HZ) being one among them. HZ is an infection that results when varicella zoster virus reactivates from its latent state in a posterior dorsal root ganglion. Here, we aim to expand our knowledge by reporting three cases of associated zoster infection in COVID-19 patients admitted to our intensive care unit in view of respiratory complaints. All the three patients admitted had revealed lymphocytopenia at the time of HZ diagnosis and were managed conservatively throughout the course. In all the cases, acyclovir/valacyclovir led to the resolution of lesions in 10 days. No postherpetic sequelae were observed. We hereby suggest that the clinical presentation of HZ at the time of current pandemic should be considered as an alarming sign for a latent subclinical SARS-CoV-2 infection and thorough follow-up of such patients should be adopted.

How to cite this article:
Altaf I. Herpes zoster coinfection and the current COVID-19 pandemic.Saudi Crit Care J 2020;4:130-133

How to cite this URL:
Altaf I. Herpes zoster coinfection and the current COVID-19 pandemic. Saudi Crit Care J [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 25 ];4:130-133
Available from:;year=2020;volume=4;issue=4;spage=130;epage=133;aulast=Altaf;type=0