Guest Author – How do chickenpox and shingles differ from each other? – Maria Fualo

For starters, both shingles (herpes zoster) and chickenpox (varicella) is a result of the same virus called the varicella-zoster virus, but they occur at different ages. Chickenpox can occur at any age, and shingles can occur any time after the person has had chickenpox. The two diseases bring a lot of discomforts to patients. In most cases, they irritate the skin and cause a blistering rash that scabs and may scar.

Whey They Occur and Physical Characteristics

The chickenpox is common in children below five years, while shingles infects typically people over 50 years. Shingles, however, can cause infection in anyone at any age if the chickenpox virus has already infected their body, mostly the elderly. Many cases of infection come from people above 50 years old.

Chickenpox and shingles do tend to differ in look. Chickenpox causes itchy blisters to form all over the body, sometimes internally. Shingles is very painful and often starts with localized numbness/tingling and often but not all the time, a rash. The shingles rash typically displays on one side of the body due to the fact that the follow along nerve pathways.

The blistering rash does not move all over the body like chickenpox does, but stays localized. The most common areas for the appearance of the rash would be the torso and face. It’s quite uncommon for the rash to spread elsewhere. Continue reading

You can learn about cells, Immunity, and vaccines in a new online course for FREE!

Did you know you can find an incredible number of free online classes from major universities all over the world at edX.org? If you didn’t, you need to jump on over there immediately and check out all there is to offer. Speaking of incredible classes…

Professor of Cell Research & Immunology at Tel Aviv University, Jonathan M. Gershoni, wants to welcome all of you to join his new FREE online class “Viruses & How to Beat Them: Cells, Immunity, Vaccines“.

This is a class welcome to anyone interested in basic cell biology, virology and immunology. There is no need for a well-developed understanding of science. The free online class is geared to non-science/biology majors, parents, and adults at or above the high school level.

What will you learn?

  • The makeup of cell structures (organelles) and their functions
  • What happens to our body when it is infected by viruses
  • How our immune system operates to protect us
  • The pros and cons of vaccination

The course is intended to help you make informed decisions about vaccines and better appreciate how our bodies cope with viral infections. But it’s not all about throwing information at you. The professors and speakers in the course keep it light and entertaining.  Continue reading

Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor

 

There are far too few children’s books on vaccines. Too many children are scared and confused about vaccines and it’s time we start the dialog. Our little ones are curious creatures who could benefit from knowing more about why they have to roll up their sleeves for vaccines.

Today, there’s a new children’s book on the shelves that discusses the topic of vaccination: Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor.

Author Ann D. Koffsky offers lots to talk about in this interesting children’s book beautifully illustrated by Talitha Shipman. Continue reading

The Mumps: Emma’s story

The mumps is a highly contagious disease characterized by swollen and tender salivary glands on the sides of the neck. Not only is the mumps miserable, but it can cause some pretty serious complications and life-long consequences.
Even being so young when contracting the mumps, Emma remembers it vividly. You can see the characteristic swollen glands in the photo even through she’s smiling.
Here’s Emma’s story.
“I was born in 1979, so too early to be vaccinated against mumps. It was only in 1988 that the UK introduced its first vaccine against the disease, the MMR.

Continue reading