The Varicella Zoster IgG test or the chicken pox test is done to check for the presence of the varicella-zoster virus or VZV in the person’s blood sample. This test is also used to check for shingles. Being a highly contagious virus, the varicella zoster virus needs to be confirmed and treatment should be started immediately. This test is also known as serum varicella immunoglobulin G antibody level, VZV antibodies IgG and IgM, and varicella zoster virus antibody test.
The varicella zoster virus is the causative agent for chickenpox. This is a highly contagious disease and is often undetected, unless people are specifically looking for the symptoms. This viral disease usually affects children and opting for a vaccination is the best way to ensure the virus does not affect them.
The most telltale sign of chickenpox is the appearance of rashes that spread fast. Doctors usually prescribe the chicken pox test when they notice the following symptoms:
The varicella zoster IgG test looks for the antibodies that are produced by the immune system to counter the virus antigens. When infected, chickenpox symptoms usually appear around 10 to 11 days post exposure to the virus. While rashes are the main symptoms, fever and loss of appetite do appear a couple of days prior to the outbreak of the rashes.
Apart from chicken pox, the varicella zoster test is also used to identify shingles. It is another infection that causes rashes. The distinguishable feature of shingles is that the rashes appear to wrap either the left or the right side of the torso. When a person contracts chickenpox, he/she is greatly at a risk of having shingles, as the VZV lies inactive in the system.
The IgG test checks for the varicella zoster virus antigens in the system. The IgG antibodies are prepared for not only active antigens but also for dormant antigens. People with a weak immune system are often at very high risks of having the varicella zoster virus activated to cause shingles.
The varicella zoster IgG test is done by collecting the blood sample of the person. Blood collection is a fairly painless and quick process, especially when done by an experienced phlebotomist. There are no known side effects or risks involved when samples are being collected.
People who already are suffering from underlying diseases or conditions like anemia might feel nauseous and weak during and after the process of blood collection. Rest and staying hydrated are the best treatments to recover sooner.
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Shingles is also characterized by rashes. The main difference between chickenpox and shingles is that only a particular side is affected. Other symptoms include pus-filled blisters and severe itching.
The VZV or the chickenpox virus can lead to complications that affect the breathing capacity of the child. While the infection is usually mild, there are cases of chickenpox causing severe dehydration, encephalitis, and toxic shock syndrome.
This is a rare condition accompanied by some cases of chickenpox. It causes inflammation in the liver and brain.
The varicella zoster IgG test can be either positive or negative. The varicella test cost depends on whether only IgG is tested or IgM is included. Both these parameters are checked to determine the prognosis. A positive result for IgG is indicative of the virus being present in the system and a negative result means the virus is not present or is dormant.
The coupling of the IgG and IgM tests can help determine whether the infection is recent or not. If IgG is positive but IgM is negative, it means that the infection is present and vaccination is also present. It indicates the immune system is active. A negative IgG along with a positive IgM means that there is no vaccination and a prior infection is also not detected.
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