Fast Five Quiz: Herpes Zoster Facts vs Fiction

William James, MD


September 22, 2021

Herpes zoster is contagious to persons with no previous immunity to VZV. However, it is less contagious than primary varicella. It is transmitted either via direct contact with the lesions or via the respiratory route.

Whereas chickenpox is more common in spring and winter months, shingles incidence does not vary by season.

Herpes zoster ophthalmicus, a potentially devastating form of acute herpes zoster, most commonly results from the reactivation of VZV in the trigeminal (fifth cranial) nerve. Herpes zoster ophthalmicus is seen in 10%-25% of cases that involve keratitis, uveitis, and optic nerve palsies. The risk for ophthalmic complications in patients with herpes zoster does not seem to correlate with age, sex, or severity of the rash.

Herpes zoster does not have a clear sex predilection; however, some studies have identified increased incidence among women.

Read more on the etiology and epidemiology of herpes zoster.


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