This site gives information on the causes, treatment, prognosis and latest research on Herpes Zoster. Shingles or herpes zoster is a painful and sometimes debilitating viral disease that afflicts nearly one million Americans annually. The Herpes Zoster virus can remain in the body for many years, often from the time of a childhood episode of the chickenpox. As people get older, their immune system naturally weakens to some germs, such as herpes zoster. The virus normally lays dormant in nerve cells, but in some people the virus reactivates years, or even decades, later and causes herpes zoster. Anyone who has had the chickenpox infection or vaccine can get the herpes zoster virus that causes shingles. About 20 percent of people who have had chickenpox will develop herpes zoster. Patients with herpes zoster are contagious to those who lack immunity, but less so than patients with varicella. Unlike herpes simplex I, the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) does not usually flare up more than once in adults with normally functioning immune systems. Shingles (herpes zoster) most commonly occurs in older adults. The medical term for shingles is acute herpes zoster.

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Shingles are caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Later, if the virus becomes active again, the symptoms are called shingles. Approximately 10-20% of people will develop shingles symptoms during their lifetime. Chickenpox and shingles are diagnosed by clinical examination and symptoms. The first symptoms of shingles are often intense pain, burning or tingling on an area of skin on the trunk or face. The symptoms of early shingles are mystifying to doctors and patients alike. The initial symptoms of shingles can be hard to diagnose and may include tingling, burning, itching, or even shooting pain. Sometimes the start of shingles may be a sharp, piercing pain. It is important for people to recognize the symptoms of shingles and get to a doctor quickly. When shingles symptoms appear, they are often in the form of a blistering rash. The rash then turns into blisters which will then turn into a dry scab.

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This brief report gives a brief account on the causes, spread, treatment and prevention of shingles. Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is still referred to by separate terms: Varicella: the primary infection that causes chickenpox. Herpes zoster: the reactivation of the virus that causes shingles. The medical name for shingles is "herpes zoster." The virus that causes herpes zoster is the same virus that causes chickenpox (varicella). Resulting from a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, shingles plagues the skin and nervous tissues. Shingles (also called herpes zoster) most commonly occurs in older people. Varicella zoster virus causes only chicken pox and shingles. The virus that causes Shingles is a dormant virus of chicken pox, that lodged in the nerves near the spinal cord. Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a reactivation of the virus that causes chicken pox. The varicella zoster which belongs to the herpes family causes shingles.

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This is a brief account on the treatment of shingles. Shingles can affect people of all ages, not just the elderly. The primary goal in the treatment of shingles is the reduction of pain and avoidance of further complications. Those suffering from shingles experience painful eruptions of blister-like substances, which can be recurring without treatment. The best hope for shortening the duration of pain after shingles is early diagnosis and treatment with antiviral medications. Early diagnosis and treatment of shingles is very important for adults over 50. Early treatment of shingles is important, because the possible complications can be serious and resistant to treatment. Sometimes, early treatment may limit the duration of the shingles outbreak, but does not always guarantee a quick recovery. The risk of developing shingles is greater among individuals who have conditions or are undergoing medical treatments that weaken their immune systems. As soon as you are diagnosed with shingles, your health professional probably will begin treatment with antiviral medications. Doctors recommend antiviral drugs, steroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and topical agents to treat shingles. If you do get shingles, contact your health care provider as soon as possible to discuss treatment with antiviral medications. It is very important that anyone with low immunity receives treatment for shingles promptly. Patients whose immune systems are injured by chemotherapy, radiation, or other medical treatments are at higher risk of developing shingles.

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Shingles Symptoms
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Treatment of Shingles
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