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Herpes zoster: how to detect the early signs of this mysterious illness
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Herpes zoster virus is known to be a DNA virus, a part of the herpes family
The primary contributor to the herpes zoster virus is varicella, which is the major contributor in the childhood virus chickenpox. The varicella virus is very contagious and is easily transmitted through direct contract from person to person. Modes of transmission may occur through droplets from respiratory excretion, secretions and aerosol fluids from the blisters formed by chickenpox on the skin. Chickenpox is normally a mild disease in children where fever and a rash on the face, scalp and body is involved in the illness. It is reported that more than 90 percent of Australian people who are adults have been infected with the varicella virus at some point in their life. Now we are seeing an increase in the vaccinations for varicella and not too many people experiencing chickenpox.
Many cases from oversees continue to highlight the importance of receiving the vaccine for herpes zoster virus
Receiving the proper immunization helps to aid in the prevention of illnesses, disability and deaths involved with herpes zoster virus. The varicella vaccination is typically given at the age of 18 months. The vaccine prevents 70 to 90 percent of the chances of a child obtaining the chickenpox virus and effective against 95 percent from more severe diseases. A second dose of the vaccine further provides protection against the chances of a chickenpox outbreak, especially in children 14 years old and younger.
Varicella virus and chickenpox
When a child has been infected with the varicella virus and experienced chickenpox as a child, then when they become older, they are at higher risk of experiencing herpes zoster. Herpes zoster is the reactivation of the varicella virus. The virus stays dominant in the body after chickenpox has cleared up until it is reactivated, this usually occurs later in life. Herpes zoster appears in a rash like appearance, which causes blistering of the skin in a distribution along the skin in conjunction with the sensory nerve roots. According to edonlinestore.net, this is seen commonly among the older population and people who have a compromised immune system. In the vast majority of the herpes zoster cases, there is a stage known as the prodromal phase that occurs 48-72 hours prior to the actual appearance of the illness occurs. In the prodromal phase adults will experience tingling, itching and/or severe pain that could include headaches and sensitivity to light.
Of the people who have the inactivated varicella virus in their body, about 25 percent of them actually develop herpes zoster
That percentage jumps to about 33 percent for people over the age of 50 years old. The most common complication with herpes zoster and older adults is the chance of having persistent chronic neuropathic pain after the illness has subsided. This pain is referred to as post-herpetic neuralgia that onsets after the herpes zoster rash subsides for about 90-120 day. Post-herpetic neuralgia rarely occur for years but the length of its presence is directly associated with the increased age of the adult.
The target for treating herpes zoster once an outbreak has occurred is to quickly heal the rash and reduce the pain to help decrease the chances of other complications from occurring
Aggressive treatment in the early stages of herpes zoster outbreak will help to minimize the potential of post-herpetic neuralgia from developing. In adults aged 60 and older, receiving one dose of the zoster vaccine can reduce the risk of having herpes zoster by 50 percent and a 33 percent decrease in post-herpetic neuralgia occurring after herpes zoster has cleared up. After the vaccination is received, if an adult happens to end up experiencing an outbreak of herpes zoster or post-herpetic neuralgia the symptoms ten to be significantly much milder than what the average adult would experience that have