Wadera, niestety opowiadasz glupoty. Jeszcze raz powtarzam : zeby
zachrowac na polpasiec trzeba miec utajony w plynie mozgowo-
rdzeniowym wirus varicella zoster jako pozostalosc po ospie
Dorosl, a szcegolnie starsi ludzie, czesciej byc moze czesciej
(statystycznie) choruja na polpasiec niz na ospe dlatego, ze
wiekszosc wlasnie na ospe chorowala w dziecinstwie. Ospa u osoby
doroslej ma zwykle bardzo ciezki przebieg. Mozje dziecko mialo w
wieku 18 miesiecy ospe z dwiema krostkami na krzyz. Moj maz, wowczas
43-letni, zarazil sie od dziecka i wygladal prze tydzien jak zywy
Published by BUPA's Health Information Team
Shingles causes a painful rash of small blisters that typically
appear on the body, often in a band on the chest and back. The virus
that causes shingles is called varicella zoster. This is the virus
that causes chickenpox.
After having chickenpox, the varicella virus lies dormant in the
spinal cord. If the virus reactivates in the spinal cord it causes
Chickenpox and shingles
Chickenpox is very common in children, and usually only causes mild
illness. Once someone has had chickenpox, they are immune to further
infection. However, the varicella zoster virus which causes
chickenpox remains in the body for life.
Normally, the varicella virus lies dormant and does not cause health
problems. But if the immune system, which normally protects the body
against infection, is weakened the virus can reactivate. When
reactivated, it causes shingles, which can be more serious than
The medical name for chickenpox is varicella zoster and for shingles
it is herpes zoster.
Who is most likely to get shingles?
Shingles can affect adults and children, but is much more common in
older people. It can not be triggered by contact with someone who
Reactivation of the virus is more common in elderly people whose
immune system is weakened. There are various possible causes of
conditions that affect the immune system, including HIV infection
periods of increased stress
excess alcohol intake
long term courses of steroids
chemotherapy or radiotherapy - cancer treatments
medicines used after organ transplants (immunosuppressants)
Common sites for shingles
The first symptom of shingles is often over-sensitivity or burning
sensation on the skin in the affected area. After a few days, a rash
develops. It usually appears as a band, following the route of a
nerve under the skin.
At first, the rash consists of small red spots and reddened skin in
the same area. The spots then turn into small blisters, which dry up
after a few days, and gradually form scabs. Once the scabs have
fallen off, a small pock-mark may be left.
Shingles is often a painful condition. As the virus affects the
nerves, the pain may continue after the rash has cleared, sometimes
lingering for weeks, months or even years. This is called post-
herpetic neuralgia. It is more likely in older people and in people
who had a severe rash.
Complications are more likely in people who have a weakened immune
Shingles can affect the face near the eye. If this happens an
ophthalmologist (specialist eye doctor) should be consulted because
the surface of the eye can be scarred, which can damage vision.
Shingles can also affect the ear, causing earache, dizziness,
deafness and paralysis in the face. This is called Ramsay Hunt
syndrome. Pain usually improves after about 48 hours, but
occasionally hearing can be permanently impaired.
Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) is a very rare complication
of shingles. Symptoms can include high fever and confusion.
Shingles during pregnancy can be serious. Pregnant women who get
chickenpox or shingles have a higher than normal risk of developing
pneumonia. In rare cases, an unborn child exposed to varicella
zoster can be damaged or may be miscarried. However this is less
likely with shingles than chickenpox.
When to see a doctor
Often the symptoms of shingles are mild and no medical treatment is
needed. However, anyone who recognises the symptoms of shingles
developing early on should go and see their GP as soon as possible.
Early treatment can be effective at reducing the severity of
symptoms and the risk of complications.
Urgent medical treatment is required if the following symptoms
loss of memory
any symptoms affecting the eye area
Other people who should see their GP include:
people with a weakened immune system (see above)
Tests are not normally needed to diagnose shingles, because the type
and location of the blisters are usually distinctive. However,
sometimes a test to identify the varicella virus is carried out.
This involves a blood test to measure antibody levels in the blood.
Is shingles infectious?
Shingles is not infectious in the same way as chickenpox, where the
virus can be passed on in coughs and sneezes. However, shingles is
contagious. This means it can be passed on by direct contact. Fluid
from shingles blisters can cause chickenpox in people who are not
already immune. People with shingles should avoid those with a
lowered immunity (see above).
What is the treatment for shingles?
An antiviral medicine such as aciclovir, usually taken as tablets,
is effective if taken at the early stage of the illness. The
medicine helps control the rash and minimise damage to the nerves,
reducing the likelihood of lingering pain and other complications.
The tablets may also be used to prevent an outbreak of shingles in
people who have a weakened immune system and who come into contact
with the illness.
The pain of shingles may be relieved by painkillers such as
paracetamol. Always follow the instructions.
Calamine lotion may help to soothe the rash.
There is no cure for shingles. However, the symptoms can be
controlled, especially if treated at an early stage before the
blisters begin to appear. Most attacks clear up on their own.
However, shingles can recur.
Can shingles be prevented?
Immunisation with the varicella vaccine can protect people from
chickenpox. The vaccine involves a single injection for children
under 12 and two injections for teenagers and adults. However, there
is no evidence that immunisation against chickenpox will prevent
shingles later in life.
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