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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

Study of herpes zoster in a self-referral out-patient clinic

Medical Foundation and Clinic, 8 Nsukka Lane, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Wilson I B. Onuigbo
Medical Foundation and Clinic, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aim: To study the presentation of herpes zoster (shingles) in self-referral urban primary care setting. Patients and Methods: During nearly 20 years, patients of Igbo ethnic group presented with herpes zoster, on a self-referral basis, to my urban, week day, evening, out patient clinic. The recorded epidemiological parameters were studied retrospectively. Results: The affected 28 patients consisted of 19 males and 9 females (M:F of 2:1). They were aged between 11 and 74 years (average 46.6 years). Most males were aged between 30 and 49 years whereas the females clustered between 50 and 69 years. Only 2 children were infected, adults being mostly attacked. Sixteen patients were living in Enugu and its suburbs, while 12 patients came from dispersed towns. For 6 patients, their first attendance was for this ailment, the rest having registered earlier between one month and 13 years. Sixteen patients manifested left-sided lesions, the remaining twelve being right-sided. Affliction of the thoracic dermatomes preponderated with as many as 18 instances. The only case of second attack (4% incidence) occurred within an interval of 10 months. During the roughly equal periods of 1983-92 and 1993 - 2002, the total sufferers were 9 and 19 respectively. Regarding possible antecedents, a sole male, who was put into a Police Cell by a rival Taxi Union, stayed in it for 3 days and developed the rash 2 days after regaining his freedom. Conclusion: Confirmatory of world-wide literature are the following Igbo findings on herpes zoster: it is a disease of adulthood; it attacks thoracic dermatomes predominantly; it is probably increasing in incidence; it shows no clear evidence of seasonal incidence; and it manifests repeat affliction in about 5% of patients. As to the future, prospective local studies should determine its possible association with AIDS.

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