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Varicella-Zoster Virus

Varicella-Zoster Virus Causes

The Varicella-zoster virus is the primary underlying cause of chicken pox and shingles. The virus typically enters the lungs through inhalation and passes through the bloodstream.

Varicella-Zoster Virus Definition

Varicella-zoster virus is known as a perpetrator for both herpes zoster or shingles and chicken pox, following exposure to the said virus. However, in certain cases, a patient may develop an acute neurological condition called VZV encephalitis that usually comes with some potentially severe and fatal complications.

Varicella-Zoster Virus Diagnosis

Both chickenpox and the shingles are typically diagnosed using the presence of the symptoms alone. If a diagnosis remains unclear after conducting a physical examination, then diagnostic tests can be administered.

Varicella-Zoster Virus Symptoms and Signs

The time between the virus exposure and eruption of its symptoms is known as the incubation period. This usually ranges from 10-20 days for chicken pox. Typically, patients may experience accompanying symptoms such as headache, fever, flu-like symptoms as well as swollen glands along with the rashes. As the rashes gradually break out, all other symptoms will eventually subside. The great news is, chicken pox occurs only once, although in certain cases a second but rather mild breakout may happen..

Varicella-Zoster Virus Treatment

The treatment approach for VZV is based on certain predisposing conditions such as age, the duration of the symptoms, immune state, and presentation. Antiviral medications are prescribed, usually on the first two days of infection.

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