Herpetic Whitlow Infection in a General Pediatrician - An Occupational Hazard
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- Avitzur, Y. & Amir, J. Infection (2002) 30: 234. doi:10.1007/s15010-002-2155-5
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Herpetic whitlow is a well-known occupational hazard for medical staff. It has been reported to affect mainly workers in intensive care units who come into close contact with oral secretions. We report herpetic whitlow infection in a general pediatrician in order to increase the awareness to this infectious occupational hazard that might occur in any health care worker who deals with oral secretions.
A 35-year-old male general pediatrician sustained a minor knife cut in his finger and 5 days later he developed herpetic whitlow. He was treated with acyclovir with gradual improvement.
We review the clinical course, complications and treatment of herpetic whitlow. The source of the infection in the present case was unknown, but it probably derived from oral secretions of children with unrecognized infection. Simple measures like wearing gloves during oral examination will avoid unnecessary morbidity in medical staff.