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Varicella

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Videos

  • Public Health Update: Varicella, Vaccines, Vomiting, and Vectors

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Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV). It usually starts with a vesicular skin rash mainly on the body and head rather than on the limbs. The rash develops into itchy, raw pockmarks, which mostly heal without scarring. On examination, the observer typically finds skin lesions at various stages of healing, and ulcers in the oral cavity and tonsil areas. The disease is most commonly observed in children.

Chickenpox is an airborne disease which spreads easily through coughing or sneezing by ill individuals or through direct contact with secretions from the rash. A person with chickenpox is infectious one to two days before the rash appears, and remains contagious until all lesions have crusted over (this takes approximately six days). Immunocompromised patients are contagious during the entire period as new lesions keep appearing. Crusted lesions are not contagious.

Chickenpox has been observed in other primates, including chimpanzees and gorillas.


Questions & Answers

  • What is Varicella Zoster Virus?

    The varicella zoster virus (VZV), also known as human herpes virus 3 (HHV-3), is one of the eight herpes viruses known to affect humans (and other vertebrates). Primary VZV infection results in chickenpox (varicella), which may rarely result in complications including VZV encephalitis or pneumonia. Even when clinical symptoms of varicella have resolved, VZV remains dormant in the nervous system of the host in the trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia. In about 10-20% of cases, VZV reactivates later in life to produce herpes zoster (shingles) and its associated sequelae including: post-herpetic neuralgia, zoster multiplex, myelitis, herpes ophthalmicus, or zoster sine herpete. VZV is closely related to the herpes simplex viruses (HSV), sharing much genome homology. The known envelope glycoproteins (gB, gC, gE, gH, gI, gK, gL) correspond with those in HSV, however there is not equivalent of HSV gD. VZV virons are spherical and 150-200 nm in diameter. Its lipid envelope encloses the nucleocapsid of 162 capsomeres arranged in a hexagonal form. Its DNA is a single linear, double strand molecule, 125,000 nt long. The virus is very susceptible to disinfectants, notably sodium hypochlorite. Within the body it can be treated by a number of drugs and therapeutic agents including aciclovir, zoster-immune globulin (ZIG), and vidarabine. A live attenuated VZV Oka/Merck strain vaccine is available and is marketed under the trade name Varivax. It was developed by Merck, Sharp & Dohme in the 1980s from the Oka strain virus isolated and attenuated by Michiaki Takahashi and colleagues in the 1970s. It was submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval in 1990 and was approved in 1995. Since then, it has been added to the recommended vaccination schedules for children in Australia, the United States, and many other countries, causing controversy because it is only expected to be effective for about twenty years, leaving adults vulnerable to the most dangerous forms of infection by this virus, whereas getting normal chickenpox as a child typically leaves them immune for life.

  • Varicella zoster (shingles)?

    How would you explain what a varicella zoster (shingles) is to a parent or a patient? Or the easiest way to expalin it to something? please help?

    This would be the best way to explain Varicella Zoster (Shingles) to a patient : Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is one of eight herpes viruses known to infect humans and vertebrates. It commonly causes chicken-pox in children and adults and herpes zoster (shingles) in adults and rarely in children. Primary VZV infection results in chickenpox (varicella), which may rarely result in complications including encephalitis or pneumonia. Even when clinical symptoms of chickenpox have resolved, VZV remains dormant in the nervous system of the infected person (virus latency), in the trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia.[1] In about 10–20% of cases, VZV reactivates later in life producing a disease known as shingles or herpes zoster. VZV is more likely to reactivate in patients with severely compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients. Serious complications of shingles include postherpetic neuralgia, zoster multiplex, myelitis, herpes ophthalmicus, or zoster sine herpete. Ramsay Hunt syndrome; VZV rarely effects the geniculate ganglion giving lesions that follow specific branches of the facial nerve. Symptoms may include painful blisters on the tongue and ear along with one sided facial weakness and hearing loss. Morphology VZV is closely related to the herpes simplex viruses (HSV), sharing much genome homology. The known envelope glycoproteins (gB, gC, gE, gH, gI, gK, gL) correspond with those in HSV; however, there is no equivalent of HSV gD. VZV also fails to produce the LAT (latency-associated transcripts) that play an important role in establishing HSV latency (herpes simplex virus). VZV virons are spherical and 180–200 nm in diameter. Their lipid envelope encloses the 100 nm nucleocapsid of 162 hexameric and pentameric capsomeres arranged in an icosahedral form. Its DNA is a single, linear, double-stranded molecule, 125,000 nt long. The capsid is surrounded by a number of loosely associated proteins known collectively as the tegument; many of these proteins play critical roles in initiating the process of virus reproduction in the infected cell. The tegument is in turn covered by a lipid envelope studded with glycoproteins that are displayed on the exterior of the virion, each approximately 8 nm long. Genome Treatment Within the human body it can be treated by a number of drugs and therapeutic agents including aciclovir for the chicken pox, famciclovir, valaciclovir for the shingles, zoster-immune globulin (ZIG), and vidarabine. VZV immune globulin is also a treatment. Vaccination Main articles: varicella vaccine and Zostavax A live attenuated VZV Oka/Merck strain vaccine is available and is marketed in the United States under the trade name Varivax. It was developed by Merck, Sharp & Dohme in the 1980s from the Oka strain virus isolated and attenuated by Michiaki Takahashi and colleagues in the 1970s. It was submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval in 1990 and was approved in 1995. Since then, it has been added to the recommended vaccination schedules for children in Australia, the United States, and many other countries. Varicella vaccination has raised concerns in some that the immunity induced by the vaccine may not be lifelong, possibly leaving adults vulnerable to more severe disease as the immunity from their childhood immunization wanes. Vaccine coverage in the United States in the population recommended for vaccination is approaching 90%, with concomitant reductions in the incidence of varicella cases and hospitalizations and deaths due to VZV. So far, clinical data has proved that the vaccine is effective for over 10 years in preventing varicella infection in healthy individuals and when breakthrough infections do occur, illness is typically mild.[8] In 2007, the ACIP recommended a second dose of vaccine before school entry to ensure the maintenance of high levels of varicella immunity.[9] In 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved Zostavax for the prevention of shingles. Zostavax is a more concentrated formulation of the Varivax vaccine, designed to elicit an immune response in older adults whose immunity to VZV wanes with advancing age. A systematic review by the Cochrane Library shows that Zostavax reduces the incidence of shingles by almost 50%.[10]

  • HELP ME PLEASE!! varicella zoster?

    Varicella Zoster. What exactly is it (more of the structure) and what happens in it's Lytic and Lysogenic stages?

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is the cause of chickenpox and herpes zoster (also called shingles). Chickenpox follows initial exposure to the virus and is typically a relatively mild, self-limited childhood illness with a characteristic exanthem. Approximately 1 per 4000 children develops VZV encephalitis, an acute neurologic disorder with potentially severe complications. In addition, immunocompromised children (e.g., those receiving chemotherapy for leukemia or those with advanced HIV infection) can develop disseminated VZV infection, a potentially fatal complication. After primary infection, VZV remains dormant in sensory nerve roots for life. Upon reactivation, the virus migrates down the sensory nerve to the skin, causing the characteristic painful dermatomal rash. After resolution, many individuals continue to experience pain in the distribution of the rash (postherpetic neuralgia). In addition, reactivation of VZV infection can cause a spectrum of atypical presentations, ranging from self-limited radicular pain without rash to spinal cord disease with weakness. Pathophysiology: The host immunologic mechanisms suppress replication of the virus. Reactivation can occur if host immune mechanisms are compromised. This may be caused by medications, illness, malnutrition, or by the natural decline in immune function with aging. Upon reactivation, the virus migrates along sensory nerves and produces sensory loss, pain, and other neurologic complications. If motor nerve roots are also involved, weakness can develop in addition to sensory changes. Leptomeningeal involvement is rare but may develop when the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve is involved. Lytic cycle = the cycle of the viral infection, replication, and destruction Lysogenic cycle = the viral genome replicates without destroying the host cell. During an infection, some viruses stay inside the cells but do not make new viruses. Instead of producing virus particles, the viral gene is inserted into the host chromosome and is called a provirus. Whenever the cell divides, the provirus also divides, resulting in two infected host cells. In some lysogenic viruses, change in the enviroment can cause the provirus to begin the lytic cycle, which means the destruction of the host cell.

  • What is Varicella antibody testing?

    Ok my doctor has ordered a bunch of tests as they usually do for pregnant women but i am curious as to what is Varicella antbody testing and why is it needed?

    Varicella is chickenpox. If you have varicella antibodies, it means you are immune to it; if not, you aren't. If you aren't immune to varicella, you will have to be extra careful not to get it while you are pregnant. Pregnant women tend to get sicker with varicella than non-pregnant people. Adults also tend to get sicker with it than children do. There is also a very small chance of damage to the baby from catching varicella during pregnancy.

  • Varicella Zoster Virus and Shingles?

    Describe the infection cycle of the Varicella Zoster virus and how it can result in shingles

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is the cause of chickenpox and herpes zoster (also called shingles). Chickenpox follows initial exposure to the virus and is typically a relatively mild, self-limited childhood illness with a characteristic exanthem. After primary infection, VZV remains dormant in sensory nerve roots for life. Upon reactivation, the virus migrates down the sensory nerve to the skin, causing the characteristic painful dermatomal rash of shingles. After resolution, many individuals continue to experience pain in the distribution of the rash (postherpetic neuralgia). In addition, reactivation of VZV infection can cause a spectrum of atypical presentations, ranging from self-limited radicular pain without rash to spinal cord disease with weakness. The host immunologic mechanisms suppress replication of the virus. Reactivation can occur if host immune mechanisms are compromised. This may be caused by medications, illness, malnutrition, or by the natural decline in immune function with aging. Upon reactivation, the virus migrates along sensory nerves and produces sensory loss, pain, and other neurologic complications. If motor nerve roots are also involved, weakness can develop in addition to sensory changes. Leptomeningeal involvement is rare but may develop when the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve is involved. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/23...

  • Is the varicella vaccination considered a homeopathic medicine?

    I was recently reading up on the different types of medicine administration ( i.e. homeopathic, allopathic, osteopathic and naturopathic) and by the definition of homeopathic medicine

    Your description of varicella (Chicken Pox) immunization is approximately correct. They don't give you a "diluted" form of the disease; they give you an attenuated form. The actual Chicken Pox organisms are modified (by heat or chemicals) so that they cannot reproduce or cause the disease, and they are injected into your arm. Your body recognizes the disease organisms as an invading organism, and starts to produce antibodies specific to the pathogens. In approximately 21 days or so, your body will have a full-fledged anti-varicella factory in operation, and it would then quickly overcome any actual invasion of varicella organisms in the future, preventing the full-fledged disease from developing and protecting you. The protection lasts for as long as the body keeps producing antibodies, or more specifically, remembers the "code" for the structure of the antibodies so it can quickly reproduce them if/as needed. There are differing opinions as to how long this protection lasts for varicella. It used to be thought that the protection was for life, and it probably is for a majority of individuals. However, this lifetime protection might only be found in individuals who have actually had Chicken Pox, not in those simply vaccinated against it. It appears that it can reappear in SOME individuals in later years as an eruption of the painful skin condition known as "Shingles." Everyone seems to be different; some will have it and others not, so the protection seems to be variable, too. Not everything in medicine is 100%. There are ALWAYS exceptions to EVERYTHING.

  • When a chicken pox patient sneez or cough,varicella virus will come out to the air.hw long did this surive ? ?

    varicella virus causes chicken pox..

    Varicella is not an airborne spread virus in the usual sense. It is spread via droplets from open oozing chicken pox sores, and only rarely in the respiratory secretions unless there are open sores in or near the nose/lips. A person with chicken pox has been contagious for about 2 days prior to the first crop of pox showing up until the last pox is completely dry and scabbed over. As far as the virus in the sneeze, you would have to be pretty close to catch it that way. The virus doesn't live long in open air at all, it requires moisture. So although I'd be careful around the kleenex and silverware/glasses, just breathing in the same room as a person with chickenpox isn't enough to catch it. You actually have to come in contact with a wet source.

  • I am varicella Zoster (Igc) positive, what does this mean?

    varicella virus causes chicken pox..

    Varicella zoster virus is known by many names, including: chickenpox virus, varicella virus, zoster virus, and human herpes virus type 3 (HHV-3). VZV is closely related to the herpes simplex viruses (HSV), sharing much genome homology. A live attenuated VZV Oka/Merck strain vaccine is available and is marketed in the United States under the trade name Varivax. It was developed by Merck, Sharp & Dohme in the 1980s from the Oka strain virus isolated and attenuated by Michiaki Takahashi and colleagues in the 1970s. It was submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval in 1990 and was approved in 1995. Since then, it has been added to the recommended vaccination schedules for children in Australia, the United States, and many other countries.

  • Double Varicella Vaccination?

    My daughter had the chicken pox vaccine when she was a year and a half and we were living in PA. We've now moved to GA, and her new pediatrician says because she was given the

    I'm a school nurse and a C-Pox vaccine being invalid because it was given 25 after another vaccine is a new one on me but requirements and standards vary from state to state. But I can tell you most states require a varicella at PK or Kindergarten and are going to require a second soon by 5Th grade. However, you have other alternatives, wavers. Medical: find a doc who will say it is OK with him/her the time between vaccines and put it in writing, then the school or health department will accept it. Religious: If you are a member of many religious groups you can waive the requirement for vaccines. Your doc, school nurse or health department should have the forms. ( I keep them in my office that our legal department has drawn up, their use is that common). Parental: Big gray area here, some school districts and counties recognize a parents right to refuse just because they are the child's parents, your school nurse might have this form also. However, if you use a waiver and there is a outbreak of varicella in your school or county your child can and will be excluded from school for a period of time. Just know this going into the process it is part of informed consent that you are already well aware of. Good luck, stay informed.

  • Varicella shot (three times?)?

    i took one varicella shot when i was young. i dont really remember if i took the second one (which is required) and unfortunately i dont have any proof of taking it or not taking it.

    Sarah - it may not be necessary for you to get another varicella (chickenpox) vaccination shot. Foir people in your predicament, it is necessary to first determine your immunity levels . One lab test, such as this, is the varicella titer test. The varicella test (also called the varicella titer) is a blood test that is performed for two main objectives . First, it is used to determine if a person has had prior exposure to the varicella zoster virus (VZV) through vaccination or previous infection and has developed immunity to the disease. Secondly, it is used to distinguish between active or past infection. So, how does the varicella test work? After exposure to the virus, the immune system will create antibodies in response . These include IgG and IgM. The IgM antibodies are initially produced and this is then continued by creation of the IgG antibodies. Once exposed, a person will have some level of IgG antibodies in their blood forever . This is what is detected when having the varicella blood test. Assessing your varicella titer level can be necessary for school or your job, but may also be an important part of your health .



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