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Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

Herpes Zoster mainly affect a single dermatome of the skin.

It may occur at any age but the vast majority of patients are more than 50 years of age.

The latent virus reactivates in a sensory ganglion and tracks down the sensory nerve to the appropriate segment.

There is a characteristic eruption of vesicles in the dermatome which is often accompanied by intensive pain which may last for months (postherpetic neuralgia)

Herpes zoster affecting the eye and face may pose great problems.

As with varicella, herpes zoster in a far greater problem in immunocompromised patients in whom the reactivation occurs earlier in life and multiple attacks occur as well as complications.

Complications are rare and include encephalitis and disseminated herpes zoster.

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