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. It is possible that aerial transmission originates from symptomless oral lesions.
Disease statistics: Seroprevalences were 96.2% for VZV, 56.3% for CMV, 54.3% for HSV, 46.8% for HSV-1, 9.3% for HSV-2 and 58.6% for parvovirus B19. Parity was associated with CMV seropositivity; maternal age differed only between HSV-2 seropositive and seronegative women, while area of residence (urban or rural) had no effect. Six seroconversions were observed: two VZV, one CMV and three parvovirus infections.
Treatment: Several studies indicate that antiviral medications decrease the duration of symptoms and the likelihood of postherpetic 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.
Research: Seroprevalence, incidence of prenatal infections and reliability of maternal history of varicella zoster virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus and parvovirus B19 infection in South-Western Finland.