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: The search identified 21 studies, and revealed a similar annual HZ incidence throughout Europe, varying by country from 2.0 to 4.6/1 000 person-years with no clearly observed geographic trend. Despite the fact that age groups differed from one study to another, age-specific HZ incidence rates seemed to hold steady during the review period, at around 1/1 000 children <10 years, around 2/1 000 adults aged <40 years, and around 1–4/1 000 adults aged 40–50 years.
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. 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.
Research: The Varicella-Zoster Virus ORF47 Kinase Interferes with Host Innate Immune Response by Inhibiting the Activation of IRF3.