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Chickenpox or Zoster? Did the virus activate again? Know about Zoster!

About


Herpes Zoster is the result of the same virus, varicella-zoster, that causes chickenpox.


Annually, more than 1 million people in India suffer from Herpes Zoster. (1)


Preventable by vaccine
Treatable by a medical professional
Requires a medical diagnosis
Lab tests or imaging rarely required
Short-term: resolves within days to weeks


Anyone who has suffered from chickenpox can get herpes zoster. It is not the same as genital herpes. Even after the chickenpox infection is over, the virus may live in your nervous system for years before reactivating as herpes zoster, also called as shingles.


The cause of virus-reactivation is unknown. People with a weakened immune system, like the elderly, HIV/AIDS patients, people on high dose medication, long-term stress, etc. usually suffer from this.



Symptoms


Painful and distinctive red skin rash
Fluid-filled blisters
Itching
Fever
Chills
Fatigue
Muscle weakness


Treatment


Self-care:
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends shingles vaccine, Shingrix for healthyadults aged 50 years. It provides higher protection as compared to Zostavax A chickenpox vaccine in childhood or a shingles vaccine as an adult can minimize the risk of developing shingles. Since zoster is contagious, proper hygiene and sanitation conditions should be maintained.


Medical intervention:
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antiviral medications, and antihistamines. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-itch lotions are used to relieve the pain and itching of the rash. Corticosteroids can be helpful to reduce inflammation.


Specialists:
Proper medical treatment is advised for recovery and boosting up of the immune system. mfine can connect you with expert physicians to help you in your journey of healing

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