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Herpes Zoster Virus and Bell's Palsy

Mike Poidinger mikep at biosci.uq.oz.au
Mon Mar 13 18:48:02 EST 1995

In article <dk_larson-1303950958400001 at dk_larson1.pnl.gov>, dk_larson at pnl.gov (Darren K Larson) says:
>   Does anyone know anything about the virus called herpes zoster?  I've
>read that it is a possible cause of Bell's Palsy (partial paralysis of
>face due to damage to facial nerve).

The varicella-zoster virus is responsible for the diseases known as
chicken pox and shingles.  I have never heard of it being responsible
for Bells palsy.   Whilst it is possible (I guess) that VZV could cause that kind
of nerve damage, with similar effects to Bells palsy, it is my 
understanding the true Bells Palsy is caused by a (viral?) pathogen
carried by ticks.

>   ANY information you have regarding treatment of this virus would be
>helpful.  Are there any anti-viral drugs that could combat this virus? 

Like all Herpes viruses, VZV gets into a cell type (in this case certain
neurons), and remains there for the rest of your life.  Acyclovir works
on most viruses of this type, but is expensive, and not really the kind of
drug I would want slathered all over my body if I did get chicken pox.

Otherwise, just grin and bear it.


Dr Mike Poidinger  | Hey Christian God, get out of my face
Microbiology       | Your holy ghost is a curse on the human race        
UWA, Australia	   | I'd like to string you up one more time,                 
                   | No stupid sacrament, no pissy wine (Snog)
mikep at biosci.uq.oz.au

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