Wondering Why?

Why do young people get shingles?

Why do young people get shingles?

The red spots of chicken pox occurred in childhood will go away after some period. It appears that the battle against chicken pox virus has finished. But, in most of the cases the fight against the chicken pox virus continues, as the virus seems to stay in the nerve cells of the person. This virus can be causing this disease anytime again in life.  This second occurrence of chicken pox is known as herpes-zoster or shingles. Some of the young people can experience this chicken pox reoccurring even at the age of twenty. Shingles cannot occur if the person did not have chicken pox earlier in childhood. It was observed that young people get shingles while it is also seen in women after 40 years of age in America.

The virus causing chicken pox is scientifically called as Varicella-zoster virus. Shingles is known to cause blisters in the shape of a belt at one side of the waist. In 1909, it was noticed by the scientists that the virus causing shingles and chicken pox are the same.  In 1920s and 30s, this matter was confirmed by the scientists when they took fluid from the shingles patients and inoculated into children. They could develop the chicken pox disease within 2 weeks. Later, in 1958 the complete analysis of the viruses taken from chicken pox and shingles patients were done. This study revealed that both the viruses were identical.

According to shingles support society, it was reported that shingles is common among the older people. About 60 percent of the American population gets shingles due to lowered immunity. The occurrence of shingles is mainly because of immunity reduction or due to any autoimmune disorder. If the person is experiencing extreme stress, then there is chance of occurrence of shingles. The advanced age can bring reduction of the person’s immunity for the virus and make the shingles to appear. The other causes for occurrence of shingles are HIV, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, anti-cancer and immuno suppression drugs, temporary suppression of immune system due to cold, depression and major stress. The virus can become active after a long time and can cause this disease sometime in 40s or 50s.

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