Shingles vs Chickenpox
Shingles vs Chickenpox
Both Shingles and Chickenpox are contagious diseases caused by the varicella zoster virus. Chickenpox is an airborne virus spread through small droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Shingles is usually spread through direct contact with an infected person or through contact with their blisters.
What is chickenpox?
Chickenpox is a viral infection that causes an itchy rash and small, fluid-filled blisters that are very contagious. It is most common in children, but adults can also get it. The virus spreads from person to person through coughing and sneezing, physical contact, or contact with an infected person’s secretions, like saliva. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, sore throat, and body aches, followed by red spots and fluid-filled blisters in the mouth, lungs, and skin.
What is shingles?
Shingles is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus in the body. It is caused by the same virus but affects only people who have previously had chickenpox. When the virus reactivates, it causes a painful, blistering rash in a limited area on one side of the body. In addition to the rash, shingles can also cause fever, headache, fatigue, and sensitivity to light. The rash usually lasts for 2 to 4 weeks, though in some cases the virus can cause severe, long-term pain.
The difference between chickenpox and shingles
- Cause: Chickenpox is caused by a new infection from the varicella zoster virus, while shingles is caused by a reactivation of the virus.
- Symptoms: The main symptom of chickenpox is a red, itchy rash. The main symptom of shingles is a painful, blistering rash.
- Transmission: Chickenpox is spread through direct contact with an infected person or their secretions, while shingles is usually spread through direct contact with an infected person or through contact with their blisters.
- Treatment: Chickenpox can be treated with antiviral drugs and over-the-counter products to reduce symptoms. Shingles usually resolves on its own but can be treated with antiviral drugs. In some cases, a vaccine is also available to prevent shingles.
In conclusion, both chickenpox and shingles are caused by the same virus and have similar symptoms, but they differ in the way they spread and how they are treated. It is important to seek medical attention to determine the best course of treatment for either condition.