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About The Varicella Zoster Virus

Context:

Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology scientists, have for the first time in the country, found the presence of Clade 9 variant of varicella-zoster virus (VZV).

Relevance:

GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Varicella Zoster Virus
  2. Key Facts about Chickenpox

Varicella Zoster Virus Overview:

  • Type of Virus: Varicella Zoster Virus is a herpes virus responsible for causing chickenpox, a common childhood illness.
  • Human Exclusive: It is an exclusively human virus and falls under the α-herpesvirus family.
  • Global Presence: The virus is present worldwide and is highly contagious.
  • Primary Infection: Initial exposure to this virus results in acute varicella or “chickenpox,” typically seen in children.
  • Complications: Infections can potentially progress to central nervous system involvement and severe complications.

Key Facts about Chickenpox:

  • Highly Contagious: Chickenpox is an extremely contagious disease.
  • Symptoms: Common symptoms include an itchy, blister-like rash, among others.
  • Rash Progression: The rash typically begins on the chest, back, and face before spreading to cover the entire body.
  • Transmission: Chickenpox is transmitted through direct contact with an infected individual, inhaling air containing virus particles from a sneeze or cough of an infected person, or contact with fluids from an infected child’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Incubation Period: The incubation period for chickenpox ranges from 10 to 21 days.
  • Seriousness: Chickenpox can be particularly severe in certain populations, including pregnant women, babies, adolescents, adults, and individuals with weakened immune systems (lowered ability to combat infections).

-Source: The Hindu


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