Quiz – Red In The Face

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is probably something you’d never heard of until you or a loved one had it. After that, it becomes impossible to forget. Luckily, this viral attack on the facial nerves is typically over within a couple of weeks, especially if it is treated quickly. Take our quiz to learn more:

1. The painful rash known as shingles is the cause of Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

A. True
B. False 

2. The virus that causes Ramsay Hunt syndrome is the same virus that causes:

A. Measles
B. Fifth disease
C. Mononucleosis
D. Chickenpox

3. Patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome experience:

A. Severe pain in the ear
B. Painful rash on one side of the face
C. Hearing loss
D. Weakness on one side of the face that affects eating
E. All of the above

4. Recovery from Ramsay Hunt syndrome is usually best if treatment is begun within three days of symptoms starting.

A. True
B. False

5. The rash blisters from Ramsay Hunt syndrome will eventually scab over. Until that time, patients should avoid contact with:

A. Those who have never had chickenpox
B. Anyone with a weak immune system
C. Newborns
D. Pregnant women
E. All of the above

6. Once you've had chickenpox, there is no way to protect yourself against shingles or Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

A. True
B. False


1. A. True. A shingles outbreak on the face can involve the cranial nerves and cause the condition, which is named after neurologist and U.S. Army officer James Ramsay Hunt.

2. D. Chickenpox. It is called the varicella-zoster virus and it is also the cause of shingles, typically later in life after a period of dormancy. In this case, the virus has infected a facial nerve near the inner ear.

3. E. All of the above. In some cases, it may also cause vertigo, or a sensation of the room spinning.

4. A. True. The length of the outbreak and the severity of its pain can be eased by antiviral medicine.

5. E. All of the above. Ramsay Hunt syndrome itself is not contagious. But while the rash is present, a person can pass on the varicella-zoster virus.

6. B. False. Shingles vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and any of its complications. Experts advise the vaccine for anyone age 50 or older who has had chickenpox, even if you have already had shingles. The vaccine can reduce the risk of getting shingles again.


Source: Krames Health Library at www.sjchs.org.

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