Chickenpox and shingles

Chickenpox and shingles

Chickenpox (varicella) and shingles (herpes zoster) are two different forms of disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) virus closely related to herpes simplex and Epstein-Barr viruses. Initial infection causes varicella, a common childhood infection characterized by fever, malaise, and a rash consisting of dozens to hundreds of small fluid-filled lesions (vesicles) that are individually surrounded by reddened skin. Successive crops of lesions appear that eventually ulcerate and crust over during the two-week course of the disease. The virus is spread from person to person by the highly infectious respiratory secretions and lesion drainage. Varicella is rarely a serious disease in normal children but can be severe in immunocompromised individuals or in the rare adult who escaped childhood infection. Primary infection results in immunity to a new varicella-zoster virus, but the original virus lies dormant in nerve ganglia cells. See Epstein-Barr virus, Herpes

At some time in their life, approximately 10% of the population suffers subsequent reactivation of latent virus, which spreads to the skin overlying the affected nerve and causes a localized eruption of vesicles called herpes zoster. The vesicles are similar in appearance and in infectiousness to varicella lesions. This syndrome is usually well tolerated, although elderly persons may develop chronic pain at the site of reactivation. Herpes zoster in immunocompromised individuals may be prolonged or may disseminate to vital organs.

Varicella or herpes zoster in a normal host is self-limited and does not typically require antiviral therapy. In individuals with underlying immune disorders, treatment with the antiviral drug acyclovir decreases the duration and severity of disease. See Animal virus

References in periodicals archive ?
Working in conjunction with researchers in Leuven, Belgium, the team found BCNAs to be active agents against the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the cause of human chickenpox and shingles.
PREGNANT women should be asked about previous chickenpox and shingles infections when they book for antenatal care, according to updated Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) guidelines.
Anyone who has not had chickenpox should be told to avoid contact with chickenpox and shingles sufferers and they should let healthcare workers know if they might have been exposed, the RCOG said.
for use in Merck s vaccines to protect against chickenpox and shingles.
This National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study is the first rigorous clinical trial to suggest that a behavioral intervention, alone or in combination with a vaccine, can help protect older adults from VZV, which causes both chickenpox and shingles.
If and when such a vaccine is licensed we will consider all the evidence on its safety and efficacy in combating chickenpox and shingles.
It can, however, also be used against chickenpox and shingles.
The vaccine, chickenpox and shingles, a painful disease caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus or VZV) in later years, will be the subject of a special episode of The Cutting Edge Medical Report(R) on Thursday, February 1, 1996.
The virus that causes both chickenpox and shingles is known medically as the varicella-zoster virus (VZV).
While working on new anti-HIV drugs in close collaboration with the Rega Institute in Belgium, Prof McGuigan and his team stumbled across a powerful new family of compounds which attack the VZV virus - the cause of chickenpox and shingles.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIAID Scientists Identify Human Protein that Helps Chickenpox and Shingles Virus Spread, October 19, 2006