Have you ever heard of Ramsay Hunt syndrome? The disease entered the popular debate after singer Justin Bieber appeared on his social media with part of his face paralyzed due to his health condition.
Ramsay Hunt occurs because of the Varicella-Zoster virus, which is the same cause of chickenpox. According to Filipe Prohaska, the head of the Infectious Disease Screening at the University of Pernambuco (UPE) and oncoclinic group doctor, many people who have had chickenpox once in their lives have the chickenpox virus in their bodies.
It adjusts and gets stuck in the nerve of the human being. Over time, patients can develop Varicella-Zoster, which is the complication of chickenpox, which generates blisters, causes pain and nerve inflammation.
“When this virus settles in one of the cranial nerves, which mainly take the region of the face and ear, it develops Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which can generate several clinical conditions, facial paralysis being one of them”, explains the specialist.
As detailed by Prohaska, possibly Justin had the seventh cranial nerve, which is responsible for the contraction of the facial mimic muscles, hit. Because it is the same virus as chickenpox, the disease is transmissible. However, the specialist details that the host will not transmit Ramsay Hunt syndrome, but chickenpox.
The syndrome even usually presents itself when the human being has low immunity and in stressful situations.
Check out more details passed on by the doctor about the disease
How much recovery time?
Recovery takes seven to ten days, but if the patient takes the medication against chickenpox, it reduces the time of the clinical picture. However, some cases can become chronic and then specific medication is needed to reduce the inflammation of the affected nerve and return it to normal.
How to identify that it is Ramsay Hunt?
Identification takes place through anamnesis and clinical examinations, not requiring specific examinations. It is the clinical findings that favor and give the diagnosis. The disease is not always present in patients with Varicella-Zoster.
How does the disease present itself?
Each case is unique. The classic is that lesions appear first and then paralysis occurs. [como no caso do Justin]
How serious is the syndrome?
Ramsay Hunt has a very low risk of death. But she is very morbid. In other words, it is an uncomfortable disease that compromises daily life with limitations caused by intense pain.
Is there a vaccine?
The Zoster vaccine should be launched in Brazil from next Tuesday (21). The private network will be the first to provide the immunizer, with priority given to risk groups that are immunosuppressed. However, those who have a Zoster crisis can only take the vaccine a year later, and it is ideal to take it preventively.