Epidemio-clinical study of Herpes Zoster in Erbil City


Background and objectives: Herpes zoster is a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters in a limited area on one side of the body, often in a stripe. This study highlightes the epidemiological and clinical pattern of the disease in Erbil city.Methods: A descriptive study conducted on patients with herpes zoster throughout July 2004 to July 2008, a specially designed questionnaire was prepared for this purpose obtaining age, sex, dermatome distribution, the presenting symptoms and date of infection.Results: Out of 525 patients, 323 (61.5%) were male and 202 (38.5%) were female, with male to female ratio 1.59:1. The age of the patients ranged from 3-85 years, with (Mean ± SD = 43.12 ± 20.16). The highest percentage was among 40-49 years of age (17.14%), the frequency was increasing with progress of age, both sides of the body were affected equally, thoracic dermatomes (41.14%) were more affected than the other dermatomes. The pain was the commonest prodromal and presenting symptom, and the vesicles were the commonest type of skin lesions. No seasonal variation was noticed in the frequency of the disease.Conclusion: The study concluded that epidemiological and clinical pattern of the disease in Erbil city is more or less similar to that found in other populations.