There are several viral infections affecting populations worldwide. Among the infections, especially in the United States, is the shingles infection. Statistics show that roughly one million Americans suffer from the condition every year. The majority of these are adults. The virus varicella-zoster causes the disease. It resembles chickenpox in appearance because the same virus causes the two. However, one usually presents earlier in life compared to the other. In most patients, chickenpox develops during childhood. Once the chickenpox heals, it leaves behind a dormant virus in the host’s nervous system. Several factors later in life can reactivate the dormant virus to cause a shingle infection. Therefore, shingles mostly occur in patients who healed from chickenpox infection. As such, the condition is common in adults. This is why the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires that the shingle vaccine be administered to all adults above the age of 50.
Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. If you had chickenpox early in life, you can’t get it again, but you can develop the irritation and rash known as shingles when under emotional stress. Location is Key The erupted shingles rash usually shows up on one side of your body, but you can also get it on your face. It’s important to note that, while shingles commonly erupt on the torso, you can get shingles anywhere on your body. If you develop shingles in the eye area, you could end up with corneal damage.
Shingles are caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus is known as the Varicella Zoster virus. For people who have suffered from chickenpox during childhood, the virus lays dormant in their nerve tissue’s roots near the brain and spinal cord. In the future, it could reactivate and lead to a painful skin rash known as herpes zoster. However, not everyone who has suffered from chickenpox will develop herpes zoster. Experts approximate that 1 in every 3 people in North America develop herpes zoster in their lives. While this condition is more rampant in people above 50 years, it could happen to anyone. Herpes zoster is not a life-threatening disorder, but it can lead to excruciating pain. While vaccines may help reduce the risk of developing herpes zoster, early detection, and treatment shortens the infection and reduces the chances of developing complications.
What are shingles? Herpes Zoster, also known as Shingles, is a painful skin disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has been infected with chickenpox in early childhood, the virus remains inactive in the person’s body yet viable (Boston Public Health Commission, 2018). The disease affects your nerves, causing tingling, burning, itching, and shooting pain (National institute of aging, 2018). It can also cause blisters and rashes. How does it occur? The evidence of the disease was traced by the scientist a few centuries ago. Because of the similarities of the skin lesions produced by it and smallpox, people confused it with smallpox disease. However, in the mid 18th centaury, people started recognizing the difference between the two skin lesions (Wallmann, 2011). The scientist concluded at that start of the 20th century that the same virus is responsible for chickenpox and Herpes Zoster.
Shingles are more commonly known as chickenpox in children and is a contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. In the past, getting chickenpox was the standard part of childhood, but recent outbreaks have become a less common occurrence in almost all age groups since 1995 when they introduced the chickenpox vaccine. Babies can’t get the vaccine until they are almost 12 months old. However, chickenpox cases in babies under the age of 1 year decreased by 90% in the middle of 1995 and 2008. According to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, this happened because of herd immunity.