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  • Topic: Chickenpox, Herpes zoster, Immune system
  • Pages : 2 (421 words )
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  • Published : July 12, 2012
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Shingles also known as Herpes Zoster, is a blistering rash caused by the Varicella virus, or more commonly known as the Chicken Pox virus. This rash only affects a limited area of the skin, and is usually associated with pain. It can make you feel tired, run down, and even depressed. (1) Shingles has existed since the middle ages and was mistaken for small pox, which at the time was the prevalent disease. The origin wasn’t first discussed till 1831, by a scientist named Richard Bright, who hypothesized that is was carried by the spinal ganglion, this was later confirmed by Doctor Felix von Bärunsprung in 1861 after performing the first postmortem examination. The medical community didn’t recognize the severity of the shingles symptoms till the 1950’s, before then, it was thought to be painless and harmless. Since the disease has been around so long, it is unknown as to who first discovered the disease. As many as one million Americans will be affected by herpes zoster, which is 20% of the general population. More than 1 in every 10 people who had chicken pox as child will get shingles as an adult. Seventy percent of people over the age of fifty and 50% of people over the age of eighty will get the disease. Having a weakened immune system puts you at an ever high risk. People with HIV infections or AIDS are nine times more likely to get the disease because their immune systems can’t fight off the dormant virus. Shingles can cause death in people with immune deficiencies, because it will cause a secondary bacterial disease and can be triggered by any physical or emotional stress. Shingles usually, only affects a small section on one side of your body. Pain is usually the first symptom, as well as burning, numbness, or tingling. The red blistering rash begins a few days after the pain begins. The blisters will break open and crust over, this generally causes itching and discomfort. Some people also experience fever, chills, general achiness, head ache, fatigue, and...
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