How Does Shingles Affect the Body on A Cellular Level?

by | Jan 13, 2020 | Shingles | 0 comments

The varicella zoster virus is thousands of years old, but scientists are still discovering new things about it and the way it works all the time. It is a highly infectious virus that enters the body through the respiratory tract before spreading to other areas of the body. Before the chicken pox was developed in the United States, almost everyone developed the virus, as well as the fever it is accompanied by. Unlike chicken pox, it is not unusual to have more than one outbreak of shingles, and getting immediate treatment is the only way to give yourself some relief. Clinics in Las Vegas can assist you with timeous antivirals to make sure you do not suffer any more than you have to.

The varicella zoster virus enters the nervous system and invade the ganglia, which are tiny clusters of nerve cells in the head and spinal cord. When a child has recovered from the chicken pox, the virus stays in these cells in dormant form.

Shingles latency is not fully understood, but what researchers do know is that the virus causes a nerve cell to behave differently once it has been invaded. When it is inside the nerve cells, the virus does not replicate and also only produces a couple of viral proteins, so it does not kill the nerve cell. On a molecular level, the reasons for this are still not clear and it is a topic of investigation for scientists at the moment. It is believed that shingles cells avoid detection by the body’s immune system by hiding in and adapting to the nerve cells. This explains how the body does not get rid of them in the same way it clears out other viruses.

By contrast, however, the shingles virus kills skin cells. The virus can also invade the lungs and liver when a person has chicken pox, and it is not uncommon for children to get a mild case of hepatitis or pneumonia when they develop chicken pox. The primary difference between the two types of infection is that chicken pox tends to be widespread and affects the whole body, whereas shingles is a localized infection that affects one area, most commonly on the chest and face.

If recurrent shingles is a problem for you, consider getting a vaccine, or speak to your doctor at affordable healthcare in Las Vegas to find a better long term solution.