Varicella-Zoster Virus Infections | Red Book® | Red Book Online | AAP Point-of-Care-Solutions
Shingles (Zoster) - local mainfestation following reactivation of varicella present in latent form SECTION VII - RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date. Varicella-zoster is a herpes virus that causes chickenpox, a common childhood illness. Because of these risks, pregnant women without evidence of immunity to Yes, make sure all your vaccines are up to date, especially if you are and Prevention (CDC) recommends shingles vaccine (Zostavax®) for people 60 years. Official Title: CSP # - Trial of Varicella Zoster Vaccine for the Prevention of Herpes Zoster and Its Complications. Study Start Date: November
No test preparation is needed. The Test How is it used?
Most people either have a history of chickenpox infection in childhood or have had the VZV vaccination. These people can be considered to be immune to VZV without having any further testing.
However, testing for VZV or for the antibodies produced in response to VZV infection may be performed in certain cases particularly if the history of prior infection is not certain. These tests are most commonly performed in pregnant women, in newborns, in patients prior to organ transplantation, and in those susceptible to viral infections due to a weakened immune system immune-compromised persons.
The goals for testing may include: Antibody testing When you are exposed to VZV, your immune system responds by producing antibodies to the virus. Two types of VZV antibodies may be found in the blood: IgM antibodies are the first to be produced by the body in response to a VZV infection. They are present in most individuals within a week or two after the initial exposure.
IgM antibody production rises for a short time period and declines. IgG antibodies are produced by the body several weeks after the initial VZV infection to provide long-term protection. Viral detection Viral detection involves finding VZV in a blood, fluid, or tissue sample and the diagnostic methods involved are explained below. This method is sensitive, rapid and may be performed on fluid collected from a vesicle, skin scrapings, blood, or cerebrospinal fluid of a patient with suspected meningitis or encephalitis.
The cells are stained with fluorescently-labelled antibody and are visualised using a special microscope. When is it requested? What does the test result mean? Care must be taken when interpreting the results of VZV testing. The doctor evaluates the results in conjunction with clinical findings.
It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between a latent and active VZV infection. This is possible for several reasons, including: A healthy person who has been infected with VZV will continue to harbour the virus after the symptoms disappear. The VZV can reactivate intermittently, often shedding small amounts of virus into body fluids without causing symptoms. An infant or immune-compromised person may not have a strong antibody response to the VZV infection — their antibody levels may be lower than expected even though they have active VZV.
The virus may not be present in sufficient number in the particular fluid or tissue tested to be detected. If IgG is present, the person has been exposed to VZV either through vaccination or has had chicken pox in the past. Vaccination is not per cent effective and a vaccinated person can still get chicken pox.
The presence of IgM taken in the right clinical context indicates either recent or active chicken pox or shingles if the person has had chicken pox previously. Shingles is a reactivation of the virus. Is there anything else I should know?
Varicella-Zoster Virus (Chickenpox and Shingles)
There is now a vaccine available for older adults that is intended to decrease the risk for having a re-activation of the virus that presents as shingles and decreases the severity of the disease if it does occur.
It is not yet in widespread use and its ultimate effect on the incidence of shingles remains to be seen. Common Questions Is shingles contagious? Yes, but not as contagious as chickenpox.
The infected person's vesicles contain virus, but respiratory secretions usually do not.
The best way to prevent spreading shingles infection is to cover up any vesicles until they are completely dry.
Can you get shingles by being exposed to someone who has active symptoms of shingles? Shingles also causes a headache and fever in some people. The rashes scab over and eventually disappear. Shingles is still contagious as long as the rashes are exposed and not scabbed over.
Shingles usually goes away after a week or two. How will your doctor diagnose shingles?
Shingles and Pregnancy: Know the Risks
Diagnosing shingles is relatively easy. You doctor can diagnose the condition based on your symptoms. A rash that appears on one side of the body along with pain in the area of the rash or rashes usually indicates shingles.
Your doctor may decide to confirm your diagnosis through a skin culture. What treatments are available for shingles? Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication if they diagnose you with shingles. Some examples include acyclovir Zoviraxvalacyclovir Valtrexand famciclovir Famvir.
Many antiviral drugs are available that are safe for you and your baby. If you develop chickenpox during your pregnancy, you may also be able to take an antiviral medication. You should see your doctor within 24 hours of a symptom first appearing. Outlook The odds of you developing shingles while pregnant are low. Even if you do develop it, shingles is unlikely to affect your baby. It may make your pregnancy more difficult for you because of the pain and discomfort involved.
Advances in medical research are reducing the number of people who develop chickenpox and shingles worldwide. This is mainly due to vaccinations. Chickenpox vaccination The chickenpox vaccine became available for widespread use in Since then, the number of cases of chickenpox worldwide has dropped significantly. Doctors usually give the chickenpox vaccine when a child is 1 to 2 years old. They give the booster shot when the child is 4 to 6 years old. The vaccinations are nearly percent effective if you get the initial vaccine and the booster.
You still have a slight chance of developing chickenpox even getting the vaccine. Shingles vaccination The U. Food and Drug Administration approved a shingles vaccine in