|Twelve Duggar children came down with chickenpox at essentially the same time.|
My friend Becca posted something about the shingles vaccine commercials. The actors on the commercials often discuss their surprise at learning that the virus causing shingles enters the body when a person contracts chickenpox.. Exactly how did these people on the commercials, or their script writers, think that shingles were contracted before they learned of the condition coming from the varicella zoster -- sometimes called herpes zoster? Did they think that shingles was a gift left by the shingles fairy? Did they think it was a side effect incurred from a diet too rich in flaming hot Cheetos? Did they think that shingles were transmitted from one organism to another via fleas? I didn't really consider the cause of shingles to be an especially closely guarded secret, but perhaps I was wrong.
After Becca and I had the discussion about the numbskulls (or the numbskull-portraying actors) in the shingles vaccine commercials, I caught an episode of Nineteen and Counting in which twelve Duggar offspring had contracted chickenpox. JimBob Duggar, patriarch of the cumbersome clan, was touting the outbreak of chickenpox among his progeny to be a highly fortuitous event because being afflicted with chickenpox meant, according to the wisdom of JimBob, that none of his offspring who had contracted chickenpox would ever risk coming down with shingles.
My take on herpes zoster or varicella zoster is essentially the opposite of what JimBob Duggar was explaining to his television viewers. To the best of my knowledge, the virus causing shingles has only one direct route into the human body, which is through the contraction of chicken pox. Exactly how Mr. Duggar took in this information and then reached the polar-opposite conclusion -- that a person, upon developing chicken pox, would be as a result safe from the possibility of developing shingles -- is an illustration of the phenomenon of a little knowledge being a very dangerous thing.