Herpes zoster

Herpes zoster (shingles) is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus. The varicella-zoster vaccine reduces the risk of infection and duration of disease. It is a disease of the elderly but can occur at any age. Patient’s who are immunocompromised or have Hodgkin’s disease have a much greater chance of reactivating infection.
Suspect human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV) in young patients who present with herpes zoster. Psychological stress can precipitate the infection.