Pathophysiology: Little is known about the route and the source of transmission of the virus. VZV is certainly transmissible through the airborne route and does not require close personal contact. The skin lesions are certainly full of infectious virus particles whilst in contrast, it is almost impossible to isolate virus from the upper respiratory tract.
Disease statistics: In Argentina, a country with a variety of climates, including a subtropical climate in the northern region, there is limited data on immunity against VZV in adults in different parts of the country. Additionally, VZV strains circulating in Argentina are unknown.
Treatment: Several studies indicate that antiviral medications decrease the duration of symptoms and the likelihood of post herpetic neuralgia, especially when initiated within 2 days of the onset of rash. In typical cases that involve individuals who are otherwise healthy, oral acyclovir may be prescribed. An important study by Kubeyinje (1997) suggested that the use of acyclovir in healthy young adults with zoster is not clearly justified, especially in situations of limited economic resources.
Major Research: Varicella Seroprevalence and Molecular Epidemiology of Varicella-Zoster Virus in Argentina, 2002. The objectives of this study were as follows: (i) to evaluate seroprevalence of varicella in different areas of Argentina, assessing socioeconomic and demographic factors associated with seropositivity and the accuracy of clinical history of the disease; and (ii) to determine the VZV strains circulating in Argentina.