|Connection Between Chicken Pox And Shingles
Chicken pox is a viral disease caused due to infection by the varicella zoster virus. A person having chicken pox will have characteristic skin rash, fever and fatigue. The rash initially starts as red bumps and within a few hours they turn into blisters and spread throughout the body, including the mouth, scalp and eyes.
When a person is exposed to chicken pox infection, it takes around 10 to 21 days for the first symptoms to appear. A person is usually contagious for 5 days before the appearance of the rash and six days after the rash appears. During those six days, the blisters burst and start oozing after which they dry and crust over. Once the blisters are dry, the person is no longer contagious.
Chicken pox is spread from an infected person to another through direct contact, sneezing and coughing. Although there is not treatment for chicken pox, a doctor may prescribe medication to help with the itching. A person who gets chicken pox once, develops antibodies to the virus so usually does not get the disease again. However, the varicella zoster virus remains in the body in a dormant state.
This brings to the connection between chicken pox and shingles. Both diseases are caused by the same virus and shingles is basically a reactivation of the dormant varicella virus. Only a person who has had chicken pox will get shingles. As mentioned earlier, once the chicken pox infection clears up, the virus migrates to the nerve roots and remains dormant. However, under certain circumstances like stress the virus resurfaces and starts travelling along the nerve to the surface of the skin leading to shingles.
Shingles is quite similar to chicken pox but is localized according to a single nerve root. Shingles rash is like a band and is usually found only on one side of the body. It is an extremely painful condition.
Further connection between chicken pox and shingles is that a person who has never had chicken pox can contract it if he or she is close proximity to a person who has shingles. And once he or she gets chicken pox, it is possible for him or her to get shingles at a later stage in life.
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