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.
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 is a very atypical virus that usually affects many older adults and senior citizens who had chickenpox when they were children. It is far less common, almost unusual, for teenagers to have it unless their immune systems are compromised in some way. However, that does not mean that teens cannot get shingles. If your child had chickenpox when he or she was younger and now seems to have a nasty, painful rash with blisters, there is a good chance she has developed herpes zoster, another name for this viral infection. Here is what you need to know about the problem, identifying it, and treating it in your teenager. What It Looks Like Imagine several smaller chickenpox blisters clustered together, with several clusters at different spots on the body. Interestingly enough, this virus lays dormant in nerve tissue, so wherever the nerves extend outward from the spinal column is where these patches of blisters will be found. The patches will not itch, but they are very uncomfortable, produce a burning sensation, and may even be extremely painful when the blisters are rubbed to the point of popping. Older adults who develop this viral rash say it’s one of the most …