Known as the “silent killer” this particular virus spreads from person to person through direct contact with a sore, cuts or rashes that have opened. The virus has been discovered in numerous countries around the world where large outbreaks of shingles occur such as the United Kingdom, the United States and parts of Europe. Cases and outbreaks can vary greatly and this makes treatment and control much more difficult. This is because the virus has not yet been identified in the Western world, so doctors and researchers are faced with treating a patient who is not displaying any of the early symptoms. Early treatment is essential for shingles so that the majority of the symptoms associated with the disease can be addressed and the chance of serious complications can be prevented.
A recent study carried out by the University of Nottingham in the UK has brought about exciting new research into the ways in which the immune system can handle the illness. One of the findings from this research was that the vaccine that is being prepared for covid-19 will help to protect people from contracting the disease in the first place. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, but instead of the bird flu it affects people who have weak immune systems. For this reason the vaccine is designed to strengthen the immune system by boosting the number of T cells which are produced and sent to the bone marrow to trigger an antibody response. Once the antibodies are triggered by the body’s T cells are able to strengthen the affected area, which reduces the symptoms associated with the condition.
As yet there have been no official warnings from the World Health Organization, but vaccines are now being prepared and authorities are watching the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus very carefully. If the recent findings are anything to go by then we should be expecting to see some sort of vaccine preparation for the next few years. It is important to remember that although the current outbreak is unique, it is still a very contagious disease. For this reason any individual that may have recently contracted the virus should ensure they receive an accurate diagnosis from their doctor so that the correct treatment can be administered.