One virus for smallpox and shingles, two different diseases

After a primary infection, it settles into a quiescent form and can be reactivated after years.

“Don’t scratch yourself, or I’ll put gloves on you!” Few children remember smallpox, the terrible itching it caused, and impossible injunctions for parents. For most of them, this very common childhood illness leaves no trace or grim memory. But after 50 years, the varicella-zoster virus (VZV, for varicella-zoster virus) causes 15 to 20% of French people to remember shingles, sometimes synonymous with terrible pain that can continue for years. How can one virus cause two different diseases? decoding.

chicken pocks

“This corresponds to primary infection with VZV., P. tellingR Nadine Atal, neurologist at Ambrose-Pare Hospital (AP-HP) in Boulogne-Billancourt. In other words, chickenpox is a disease that occurs when a person first comes into contact with the virus.” During the incubation phase, lasting 10 to 21 days, the virus spreads throughout the body to reappear, after multiplying, in…

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