Study showed that treatment with acyclovir reduced duration of fever and the number of lesions
2. Patients must pay attention to their personal hygiene
Varicella Zoster Virus
-Rolando G. Maliwat
Chickenpox (also known as varicella) is a
common illness that causes an itchy rash
and red spots or blisters all over the body.
Shingles- (also known as herpes zoster) is
a reactivation of the varicella virus, often
the result of immunosuppression.
Its etiologic agent is Varicella-zoster virus
(VZV); a herpes virus (Family
Herpesviridae) that is also known as
human herpesvirus 3; a DNA virus.
A disease that is endemic to all countries
worldwide. Varicella has a prevalence that
is stable from generation to generation
In temperate countries, chickenpox is
primarily a disease of children, with most
cases occurring during the winter and
spring, most likely due to school contact
It is one of the classic diseases of
childhood, with the highest prevalence in
the 4-10 year old age group
Varicella is highly communicable, with an
infection rate of 90% in close contacts
In the tropics, chickenpox often occurs in
older people and may cause more serious
disease. In the adults the pock marks are
darker and the scars more prominent than
Rash that turn into itchy, fluid-filled
blisters that eventually turn into scabs
Loss of appetite
Secondary bacterial infection
Reye’s syndrome- a severe
encephalomyelitis with liver damage may
follow clinical chickenpox if aspirin is given
to younger children than 16 years of age.
Reservoir and Mode of
Infected humans. Transmission is person
to person by direct contact, droplet or
airborne spread of vesicle fluid or
secretions of the respiratory system of
persons with chickenpox.
Treatment and Prevention
Uncomplicated varicella is usually treated
only with preventive measures.
Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine
used for pruritus
Drying agents such as calamine or
colloidal oatmeal baths, are soothing and
prevent secondary bacterial infections.
Acyclovir has also been shown to prevent
viral dissemination in immunosuppressed
As a protective measure, patients are
usually required to stay at home while they
are infectious to avoid spreading disease to
Also sufferers are frequently asked to cut
their nails short to wear gloves to prevent
scratching and to minimize the risk of
Staying in a cold surrounding can help in
easing the itching as heat and sweat
makes it worse.