What is it?
Copper is an infection caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox (the varicella-zoster virus, which is a type of herpes virus). You cannot develop the shingle unless you have had a previous chicken pox infection (usually as a child). Copper can occur in people with suppressed immune systems, which includes people with HIV and people over the age of 60 (especially one who has diabetes, cancer, or another disease that may suppress immunity).
Over 90% of people in the United States have antibodies against varicella-zoster virus, and many develop chickenpox at some point in their lives, usually when they are school-age children. Although chickenpox lesions heal the virus does not die - it continues to live quietly in the nerve cells near the spine. Since the immune system cannot kill the virus completely, it can prevent the virus from becoming active again, usually for the rest of the time. life of the infected person. However, if the immune system becomes suppressed, the virus can escape the nerve roots and become active. Instead of coming back as chicken pox (varicella), it comes back as a shingle (zoster).
When shingles occurs, it affects only one side of the body, usually in the form of a strip-shaped belt along a single line of nerves. The most common areas are the back, upper abdomen or face. It can also affect the eyes and more rarely the inner ear. Shingles can be very painful, but can be treated.
You may not transmit shingles to someone who has had chickenpox in the past or has been vaccinated against varicella-zoster virus. However, the rash can "accommodate" the varicella-zoster virus. Someone who has not had chickenpox or have not been vaccinated against the virus can develop chickenpox if they come into contact with the shingles eruptions.
Approximately 3% to 5% of people infected with the varicella-zoster virus will suffer from shingles at some point in their lives, most of them after the age of 50. Shingles are 15 to 25 times more likely to occur in HIV-positive people, regardless of their cell count CD4. In other words, the CD4 cell count does not have to be low for the person to be at risk; the disease can develop even when the immune system appears relatively healthy. In HIV-positive people with significant suppression of the immune system (CD4 cell count below 50), there is an increased risk of zoster infection in other parts of the body, including the retina at the back of the eye. This can result in rapid blindness.