Chickenpox virus related to Giant Cell Arteritis: Varicella Zoster Virus

Shingles

Recent news releases state that medical research has now proven that the Varicella Zoster Virus is related to Giant Cell Arteritis. Once the individual becomes infected with the chickenpox virus, it will remain in the body’s nerve cells, dorsal root ganglia, as a dormant virus. It can stay in the dormant phase for many years, even decades, until it is reactivated by several different factors or internal and external cellular stimuli including;
– Secondary Infections

– Emotional Trauma or Stress

– Immoderate Sun Exposure

– Various Illnesses

When the Varicella Zoster Virus is reactivated it can lead to Shingles. It is very uncommon for someone to have more than one episode of shingles, throughout their lifespan, but it is not ruled out completely.

Herpes Zoster

Shingles or Herpes Zoster is normally seen in older adults beginning at the age of fifty. This very painful, blistery, rash is extremely contagious and is most often treated by anti-viral drugs including Acyclovir and Famciclovir, which are available in oral or topical form. Prescribed analgesics may be required to relieve the intense pain associated with Shingles.

New Findings

Medical researchers now believe that the Varicella Zoster Virus is related to Giant Cell Arteritis. After the active phase of Chickenpox has passed, the virus will also lay dormant in the cranial nerve ganglia, when activated the virus will cause inflammation of the arterial blood vessels in the scalp and temples. This can lead to blindness and stroke, if left untreated. Some common symptoms of this infection include;
– Jaw Pain

– Blurred Vision

– Headaches

– Diplopia (Double Vision)

– Fever

Giant Cell Arteritis normally does not occur in someone younger than the age of fifty and is more commonly seen in the elderly, age seventy and older, while being more common in women than men.