Herpes Zoster Virus

What is Herpes Zoster Virus?

Herpes Zoster (HZV) is acquired primarily during childhood where it is more commonly known as Chicken Pox. The virus remains latent in the nervous system until activated later in life, either spontaneously or due to immunosuppression. At this time, it is often referred to as Shingles.

Signs & Symptoms

The Herpes Zoster Virus can affect any part of the body causing painful blistering of the skin, fever, and inflammation of nerve fibers. If the rash is present on the face it may also affect the cornea. An infection such as this could cause decreased or hazy vision and decreased corneal sensation in the affected eye.

Treatment

HZV is often treated with oral anti-viral medications to decrease the risk of scarring to the cornea. Since the Herpes Zoster Virus can decrease corneal sensitivity, it is important for these patients to have regular follow-up visits to ensure the continued health of the eye.