Shingles (Herpes Zoster Virus)

Shingles is a disease caused by reactivation of a latent Varicella Virus, Herpes Zoster Virus, which resides in the dorsal root ganglion (cluster of nerve cells located next to the spinal cord). Mechanical, emotional or chemical stress activates the virus causing pain, burning and sensitivity along a localised band followed by the formation of a rash and blisters. Shingles can affect any nerve distribution in the body but commonly presents at a dorsal root ganglion in the mid back with the symptoms following that nerve’s distribution in a belt like pattern around one side of the body. The process of shingles typically takes one week.

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