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: Many countries are studying currently the possibility of mass vaccination against varicella. The objective of this study was to provide a complete picture of the pre-vaccine epidemiology of the Varicella-Zoster Virus in England and Wales to aid in the design of immunisation programs. Population-based data including general practitioner sentinel surveillance, hospitalisation data, and death certificates from England and Wales were analysed. The average incidence rates for varicella and zoster between 1991 and 2000 were 1,291 and 373 per 100,000 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: Epidemiology of Varicella-Zoster Virus in England and Wales.