Herpes zoster, also known as shingles, is a disease caused by a virus that also triggers chickenpox, namely Varicella Zoster. Although not life threatening, smallpox can be a serious complication if not treated properly.
Smallpox is characterized by rashes and nodules filled with water and causes annoying pain, causing discomfort when doing activities. Chickenpox is generally only experienced once, but people who have recovered from this disease may be at risk of relapse. What are the causes and characteristics of shingles? Here’s more information.
Causes and Risk Factors for Smallpox
Smallpox is triggered by the transmission of the Varicella Zoster virus, which is a virus that is also the main trigger for chickenpox. In people who have recovered from chickenpox, the virus does not die, but is inactivated. Until now, it is not known exactly what causes the Varicella Zoster virus to reactivate. This is because not all people with chickenpox will experience shingles. There are a number of factors that trigger a person’s risk of getting shingles, namely:
Physical and emotional stress triggers the body to release chemical compounds that risk interfering with the immune system.
- Weak immune system
A weak immune system is generally experienced by people with AIDS, cancer patients, people undergoing organ transplant surgery, or side effects of long-term corticosteroid drugs.
The aging process can trigger a weakening of the immune system, so you are at high risk of getting smallpox.
Recent studies have also found cases of smallpox in some people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The appearance of smallpox was even used as a side effect due to the reaction of the Varicella Zoster virus to the vaccine.
Symptoms of Smallpox
The main feature of shingles is a water-filled nodule on the skin that is accompanied by pain such as tingling, burning, and worse when touched. The pain appears 2-3 days before the nodule and generally the pain is still felt after the nodule disappears. Apart from that, there are a number of other symptoms of smallpox that you need to know about, namely:
- Stomach ache.
- Sensitive to light.
Treatment of smallpox
Antiviral drugs are usually used to speed up the healing of shingles, namely:
Self-care is also applied to treat the symptoms of shingles, namely:
- Apply calamine lotion to reduce itching.
- Take a cold shower to clean the skin and relieve inflammation.
- Cold compresses on the rash to relieve pain and itching.
- Covers the rash to keep it dry and clean.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing, such as cotton, to prevent skin irritation.
Prevention of Smallpox
Vaccination for chickenpox or varicella vaccine is an appropriate method of preventing smallpox. The vaccination is recommended for people over 50 years of age and people with smallpox to prevent recurrence of symptoms. In addition, the following are various things that need to be implemented to prevent transmission of the Varicella virus:
- Don’t touch or scratch the blisters.
- Avoid direct contact with pregnant women who have not had chickenpox, babies with low birth weight, and people with weak immune systems.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and running water.