A Herpes Zoster Outbreak on the Sinai Peninsula

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Acierto D, Savioli S, Studer NM 16(2). 1 - 4 (Case Reports)

Background: Infection with the varicella zoster virus, a type of herpesvirus, causes chickenpox in children and herpes zoster (commonly known as shingles) in adults. Case Presentation: Two 20-year-old male Soldiers returned from an outpost with a rash consistent with herpes zoster. Two other Soldiers with whom they were in close had had a similar rash 2 weeks earlier, which had since resolved at the time of initial presentation. Management and Outcome: Both Soldiers were started on an antiviral regimen and released to duty. They reported progressive relief, but both Soldiers redeployed to the United States before complete resolution. Conclusion: Herpes zoster cannot be transmitted from person to person. It is rare for young healthy people to become afflicted with it, let alone for two people to get it at the same time, which initially raised concern for infections mimicking herpes zoster. However, herpes zoster may be triggered by acute stress. Providers in deployed areas should consider the diagnosis in personnel who have had childhood varicella zoster infection (chickenpox).

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