To identify shingles in children or any other patient, doctors can check for the classic symptom associated with this condition, which is a rash consisting of red spots that become blisters within 24 hours, notes the New York Times. In cases where there are no symptoms present, laboratory testing techniques, such as viral culture, immunofluorescence assay and polymerase chain reaction are useful tools for detecting the virus.
Shingle is a condition that affects mainly older adults who had chickenpox. Nevertheless, children, who have weak immune systems or had chickenpox before the age of 1 year, are at a higher risk level for developing shingles, states the New York Times.
The varicella-zoster virus causes both chickenpox and shingles. Once an individual has chickenpox, it is possible that later on in life he may develop shingles. Shingles causes a series of symptoms. The early symptoms are pain and a tingling sensation on the affected body part. In the second stage of shingles, the rash and blister formation appear on one side of the body, notes WebMD. It is at this point that doctors can diagnose the condition.
When the rash symptom is not present, it can be more difficult to diagnose shingles and laboratory testing is necessary, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The immunofluorescence assay test detects antibodies of the varicella-zoster virus through the use of ultraviolet light. A viral culture taken from a sample of the fluid from the blisters may also help to diagnose any atypical cases of shingles in children. The polymerase chain reaction laboratory test involves making copies of the virus's DNA for its detection.