Question

My friend has told me that she has had a strange rash appear. It started on her buttocks then spread to her thigh and genital area. The rash was very painful at first and she ran a slight fever. It then itched her. She was told by a doctor in Saigon that it was a condition called "zona" but it left some scars. She also said that with this she started experiencing some joint discomfort in her ankle. Have you ever heard of this condition?

Answer

I have not heard that term before, but it sounds like a herpesvirus infection -- it could be either herpes simplex (causing genital herpes) or varicella zoster (causing shingles). I think the ankle discomfort is most likely something else.