Herpes zoster: how to detect the early signs of this mysterious illness

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By: felixblack
Posted in: Health
Herpes zoster: how to detect the early signs of this mysterious illness

Herpes Treatment In Australia

Herpes zoster is caused by the varicella virus, which happens to be the same contributing virus associated with chickenpox. Almost all the people who acquire herpes zoster have had the varicella virus once before in the form of chickenpox. The first time a person gets the varicella virus, chickenpox is the result. Once the varicella virus is reactivated in the body, it is expressed as herpes zoster. The varicella virus never really leaves the body once the symptoms of chickenpox subside. The varicella virus remains in the body dormant until something triggers it to express its effects again. The subsequent activation of the varicella virus is expressed as herpes zoster. No matter how severe or mild the chickenpox virus was expressed, a person is eligible to reactivate the varicella virus to express herpes zoster. 


The symptoms that may be experienced with herpes zoster are headaches and tiredness. A person may also experience discomfort in the eyes when in the presence of bright lights and a painful rash that may incorporate blisters and even burning sensations. These symptoms may be experienced occasional or constant over multiple days. Normally the sensitivity to light and the pain and/or burning sensations occur before the rash and blistering appear. A typical herpes zoster outbreak lasts for about 10 to 15 days. A person knows when a herpes zoster outbreak is starting to clear up because the blisters and rash on the skin start to crust over. In a less frequent occurrence, the rash present during an active herpes zoster outbreak can become infected. The pain will still be present even if the rash goes away. If an infection is developed in the rash then it is treated with antibiotics. Medical providers and pharmacies in Sweden call this post-herpetic neuralgia if the pain persists more than 3 months after the rash clears up. Almost one in every ten cases of herpes zoster ends with the person experiencing post-herpetic neuralgia. 


Of the people who have not been vaccinated against the varicella virus, about one in every three people experience herpes zoster sometime later in life. It is very typical for herpes zoster to occur among people of older age. The consequences of getting herpes zoster during older ages are very serious. The older a person is, the more likely they are to develop more serious diseases due to experiencing herpes zoster. Not only people of older ages are at risk of getting herpes zoster. People who have weakened immune systems are at an even greater risk of experiencing herpes zoster because their body at any age is not unable to fight off the activation of the varicella virus as good as younger patients. It is safe to say that if a person has never had chickenpox, then it is almost impossible for that person to ever experience the herpes zoster virus as the virus occurs in one’s own body by feeding off of the varicella virus left behind by chickenpox. 


In Australia, it is recommended that people are given the vaccination for varicella virus on a restricted basis. These restrictions incorporate people who have compromised immunity and may have a high risk of being exposed to chickenpox. Pregnant women are instructed to be given the vaccine in the earlier stages of pregnancy. People who have what is classified as a risk of significant exposure to varicella virus are a priority for the vaccination. This classification refers to people living in a household with an active case of chickenpox. Vaccines are a safe and effective way of preventing the transmission of chickenpox. Herpes zoster is not as contagious as chickenpox, but it is imperative to stop the virus before it can invade the body to stop the domino effect of rising healthcare costs and other debilitating illnesses. 

Economic impact

Among Australians, the herpes zoster virus is crippling the health care system and economy due to its impact that it has on the older population and consequences to cause other diseases. Many older people that develop herpes zoster often experience other illnesses that could become fatal. More and more elderly people are going to the hospital and nursing homes, and utilizing resources that are not recouping the cost. 

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