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Hautarzt. 2004 Sep;55(9):831-40.

[Varicella-zoster virus infections].

[Article in German]

Author information

1
Dermatologische Klinik, Klinikum Krefeld, Lutherplatz 40, 47805 Krefeld, Germany. lilie@klinikum-krefeld.de

Abstract

The primary infection with varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is manifest clinically as varicella. It is a common very contagious disease, normally appearing in childhood. VZV is a ubiquitous virus with a high prevalence. Clinically it is characterized by pleomorphic skin lesions. Normally antiviral therapy is necessary only in severe cases, in adults or in immunosuppressed patients. Herpes zoster, also caused by (VZV), is a neurodermal disease representing the endogenous relapse of the primary varicella infection. Herpes zoster is characterized by lesions concentrated in the innervation region of a cranial or spinal nerve. One of the most feared manifestations of herpes zoster is pain. Several antiviral drugs are approved and many studies have shown that antiviral therapy, started early in the course of disease, can significantly reduce risk and duration of postherpetic neuralgia in elderly patients. Therefore, antiviral therapy in combination with an adequate pain management should be given to all elderly patients as soon as herpes zoster is diagnosed.

PMID:
15316637
DOI:
10.1007/s00105-004-0789-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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