Shingles outbreak

Every fifth of us has experienced the burning pain, the increasing rash and growing blisters on any parts of their skin. Yes, shingles. What is even worse, some of us suffer from this phenomena more than once in our lives or even regularly. Current outbreaks of shingles have made the subject popular once more.

The issue with shingles is not new however it has resurfaced after it became common knowledge that it’s caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. This and other causes has led to the rise in popularity of pox parties. This is quite the hot topic in the US where over 100 cases of a disease that was considered eradicated have appeared, spreading over 16 states.

Let’s learn some facts about shingles to find out how to avoid and cure them.

Exposed persons

Although the shingles manifest usually in people around and over 50 years of age there are some other factors that make a person more exposed:

  • having had chickenpox since both afflictions have the same virus in the background
  • weak immune system (typically during cancer treatment)
  • stress

Also children especially under 2 are an easy target if their mother suffered from shingles during pregnancy.

Shingles can be prevented

Thanks to modern medical science, vaccination has been invented against this problem. Experts suggests to get the vaccination even if you have already been infected as you can avoid later diseases and serious complications. Any person over 50 is encouraged to get vaccine in order to prevent outbreaks.

Here are some other ways of preventing shingles:

  • healthy dieting
  • relaxation
  • strengthening the immune system
  • keeping hydrated

Containing outbreaks

In the light of current outbreaks there are two camps holding different positions: the medics on one side that promote vaccination and the green side that advocates against vaccinations and promotes natural virus exposure.

The issue here is that green side is gaining more and more popularity and modern moms through pox parties and invite adults as well. Although officials have warned repeatedly against this it is still a common practice.

Taking care of the condition

In order to contain outbreaks of any sorts infected people should keep to themselves inside their homes and not get exposed to outside environment.

There are certain things one can do in these cases:

  • avoid scratching
  • ice packs alleviate pain
  • painkillers alleviate pain
  • oatmeal an colloid baths stop the itching
  • loose clothes minimize scratching

Long Term Issue

Unfortunately shingles can cause more serious troubles. They can appear anywhere else on your body, including your genitals and be accompanied with more severe symptoms like fever or upset stomach. If reaching a critical phase it can lead to insomnia, chronic pain or depression. In this case it’s recommended to visit a doctor for exact diagnosis. The medic can also prescribe antiviral medications, usually acyclovir and rash relief medication, usually corticosteroids.

 

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/shingles-goes-epidemic-chicken-pox-vax-blame

http://www.patient.co.uk/health/shingles-herpes-zoster-leaflet

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/understanding-shingles-treatment

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154912.php

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=77963

 

Research on Shingles is Looking Good

Shingles is basically a skin rash, also known as herpes zoster, however it can present serious complications and is caused by the same seemingly harmless virus that causes chickenpox during childhood. The VZV – varicella zoster virus – which causes chicken pox remains dormant in the nerve cells and reactivates at certain points. Not all persons suffer of this and the causes are still unknown, although extensive trials are currently going on.

Phases

Shingles is not a transmittable disease, however it is apparently possible for the virus to spread from a person infected to someone who hasn’t had the chickenpox and is not immunized against it. In the beginning it can manifest as a light flu. The main symptoms of this phase are headache and sensitivity to light. In some cases infected persons may experience fever symptoms.

Next on the itching starts and a rash on the skin becomes visible. The rash morphs into blisters filled with liquid which then crust over. Besides not looking pretty these blisters also itch and hurt. Shingles may manifest anywhere on the body, however in most cases the blisters are spread in a belt around the middle section of the body.

Aftermath

Shingles can be treated and it normally takes about two to four weeks for the blister to clear out. However during this period the person in cause may suffer from debilitating pain and itching. Even after the blisters clear some sings will remain on the skin, maybe even for life. The real issue however is that in some patients even after the blisters clear for good the pain remains, even for several years.

Prone People

Basically any adult is prone to getting the shingles. Any adult that has had chickenpox that is, and that means most of the adults nowadays. One of the main factors making shingles so widespread is that life expectancy in humans has slowly increased in time. Nowadays most people live to be over 80, making them more predisposed to shingle which in most cases manifests itself in people who are 50 to 60. Various studies have shown that pain lingers on long after the blisters are gone.

Vaccine Studies

Until a while ago there was no vaccine specifically developed for shingles although a chickenpox immunization vaccine existed. The new vaccine was studied for over 5 years and it has shown great results. This vaccine is actually a more potent form of the chickenpox vaccine and is targeted against herpes zoster. The study was conducted in the US and over 38,500 people over the age of 60 were used, both women and men. Half of the participants were given a new vaccine and halve a placebo, none of them knowing in which category they landed.

The test subjects were then followed for 3 years and the results showed that the cases of shingles dropped by 51% and the overall pain level for people who actually got it was 61% lower. This vaccine was specially developed for older persons, however it does not take care of the existing pain called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) and is intended to be a preventive measure.

 

References

http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/jun2005/niaid-01a.htm

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/shingles-topic-overview

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herpes_zoster

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/basics/definition/con-20019574

New FDA licensed vaccine against smallpox

Most people have never even thought about smallpox as a disease. Nowadays it is basically a non-issue and a childsplay mostly. From a Worldwide perspective the last occurring case in a natural manner of chickenpox was in 1977 in Somalia. Nowadays most of the population of the globe is immunized one way or another.

New FDA licensed vaccine against smallpox

Why Smallpox

Smallpox may not be considered much nowadays because very few case if any have been reported in the last 10 years with dire consequences. Most people today get the smallpox, however that is because of intended exposure to the virus as a child. These type of exposure is called a smallpox party and is frowned upon by many. However if smallpox happen to an adult it can have dire consequences like permanent scarring or even death.

The scarring occurs as the rash which is a natural manifestation of smallpox slowly transforms into eczema. If scratched this eczema can leave definitive markings on the skin. Also the same virus is responsible for shingles.

Why Now

In the United States the last natural case of chickenpox was in 1949 and the virus is nowadays considered eradicated. However there are still to stockpiles being held in the world, one in the United States and one in Russia. This and the potential violence of a reaction in adult population has led the United States Government and CDC to deem the virus a Grade A agent. This means it is one the most dangerous agents list when it comes to public health.

Starting With 1999 the U.S. has begun vaccinating once again, especially for military personnel in order to remove the threat of bioweapons based on this virus. This was happening almost 30 years after the U.S. vaccination program ended (1972). Al those inoculations are done with the same vaccine that was first approved by the FDA in 1931: Dyvax. This vaccine, besides being almost 70 years old as a formula, was available in very limited amounts since it isn’t produced anymore.

This has led to the need for a new and improved vaccine. In 2007 FDA licensed a new vaccine called ACAM2000.

What is the ACAM2000

ACAM2000 is the new chickenpox vaccine and is called a second generation vaccine. It is derived from the same virus as Dryvax. The virus is called vaccinia and although it is very similar to the pox virus it is used because it causes milder outbreaks and symptoms. However the Dryvax vaccine is basically an ancestor of ACAM2000, but the latter is obtained through modern technologies.

Administration and operating mode

The inoculation process is rather different from the traditional shot technique. For the ACAM2000 a two headed needle is used and instead of injecting the vaccine the skin is just perforated after the needle is dipped in the solution. This is done multiple times, usually in the upper arm region. This method is known as localized infection and the virus only works in the perforated region. If the vaccine is efficient the usual pock signs will appear within 3 or 4 days. From there one the process will move on naturally as it would with a normal chickenpox infection. The entire process with the eczema type reaction and clearing should be over in about 3 to 4 weeks.

Availability of ACAM2000

Currently the ACAM2000 is not available as an over the counter drug and the person soliciting the inoculation has to do so to a medic. Medics can refuse people, usually ones with low immunity. Also the ACAM2000 vaccine is the only vaccine yet to be provided with a Medication Guide. The reason behind this is that safe inoculation is require and therefore should be performed only in protected environments by specialized people.

 

References

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2007/ucm108976.htm

http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/QuestionsaboutVaccines/ucm078041.htm

David Letterman: the man, the legend

In light of the new announcement made about him leaving the late night show format, David Letterman is now an even bigger sensation on the web. Everyone knows who David Letterman is, at least from afar, most people know he is famous for his funny late-night shows, interviewing the likes of Madonna, Cher and even captain Kirk himself, William Shatner. Let’s state the most common things known about him:

  • He has been on the screen in the late-night format ever since 1982, which by now means 33 years.
  • For this careers he has included in the 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time, where he currently holds position 45.
  • In 2013 his show became the longest running late-night show ad 31 years. By now it is leader by far.
  • He has his own company through which he produces various shows like Everybody Loves Raymond. The company is called Worldwide Pants.

These are all common knowledge about David Letterman and his career. As of May 20 2015 he will be retiring from the show that made him famous and will be passing on the baton to Stephen Colbert. Some are sad about this, some are curious of what’s to come. However until then let’s take a look at the man that is David Letterman, taken out of the Late Night with context.

Life before the late nights

It takes a lot of hard and persistent work to become famous and popular. Letterman’s career started with a summer job as a temporary news announcer. As he began to like the thing we call TV, he stayed there looking to pursue higher dreams. He became the station’s weather man and just a little later he started his first talk show. It was broadcast Saturday mornings. Believe it or not, it was made for children! That’s something you wouldn’t expect from the Grinch looking Letterman.

The 4H-s and Letterman

I bet you could hardly imagine the showman presenting a serious topic. But let’s see some further facts.

In his Saturday morning show, Letterman interviewed 4H members, who could present their projects on empowering 12-years-old and elder children to become more engaged citizens, enthusiastic volunteers and committed leaders. Professional sportsmen, successful managers, politicians and even astronauts have grown up thanks to the confidence and innovative thinking which they learned as 4H members. The projects that they could present on air covered a wide range of topics from healthy eating to wall climbing, from teaching baby-sitting to learning about sustainable agricultural practices.

This first show-time appearance on television was really important both for the dissemination of 4H values, and for the popularity of David Letterman. As a host of this morning show, he could gain experience. Working for the channel also gave him the opportunity to try himself as a night-show moderator. His humor was slowly coming to the surface and he also appeared as a stand-up comedian. A decade later he was ready to start his comedy show at the same Saturday morning time, but now for adults.

What is 4-H

The title of the first Letterman show was Clover Power. Clover is the token of a nationwide program in the United States, which is aimed at mostly providing chances for young people via clubs, camps and various events organized by universities, made available by schools and parish communities. The green color of the clover refers to hope given to the targeted children and society, whereas the four leaves of the plant remind the members of the four most important values to be spread, namely: Head (thinking), Heart (caring), Hands (working), Health (living). So, in the US, talking about the 4H-s means talking about a mission.

The turn of the century and health issues

David Letterman has gained popularity as well as several awards thanks to his surreal humor, which he has also shown as an actor in several films, a writer and a producer of his late night program. His career was going unbroken up until 2000, when, at the age of 53, he had to get heart surgery. The already loyal audience had to miss the showman for 34 days.

Another weird fact is that he missed 34 days again three years later due to shingles. You may be asking for a reason supposing that he was just too vain to appear with some blisters around his mouth – which is the usual symptom of a light herpes infection every fifth of us tends to get. Well, he was not that lucky. Continuous stress might have been the major cause of his rather serious disease, which occurred with severe pain in his eyes which were red due to the inflammation. As he put it, “I looked like somebody gave me a beating”.

Luckily, this did not mean the turn of Letterman’s career. Fourteen celebrities, whom he had invited as guests previously, would take up his role as host of the show until his full recovery. Upon his return, he thanked both his doctor and his friends for the help by interviewing all of them on the show. Referring to his earlier “break”, he greeted the audience saying “I am back from my annual bypass”.

Retirement

It is funny to think of the fact that emblematic figures, like a forever-young comedian who always makes jokes, would like to retire. Of course, they cannot do that the same way as everyday people do. Letterman officially informed CBS, the channel of the Late Show that he intended to finish his career as a showman. His last show is planned to be on air in May 2015. It is strange to accept that someone, whom you can see regularly on your screen, will disappear.

It is good to know that it is not his health conditions that force him to give it up. Actually, the personal reason behind his decision is family: his second wife gave birth to a son in 2003, the same year when he suffered from shingles. The showman wishes to spend more time with his son and cut down on stress, which not only makes one ill, but also takes too much away from family life.

Most people have fun in front of a TV set just viewing his programs, however they leave out the fact that he is an intrinsically funny old man.

 

References

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2014/04/03/david-letterman-cbs-retire/7266411/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Letterman

http://www.4-h.org/

https://celebrity.yahoo.com/david-letterman/

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,625611,00.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/letterman-returns-to-late-show/

Wanna party? Chicken pox parties are back in town

In a recent case that has come into light in California a woman was offered to send her unvaccinated children to a measles party. Although she refused, this has opened the path to arguments about these parties.

The situation in the US is now rather critical since over 100 cases of an eradicated disease have been signaled in 16 different states. This has led parents to doubt the efficiency of the vaccine and to believe that getting their kids infected with the virus in its wild state will provide stronger long term immunity.

Chicken pox and immunity

Chicken Pox is caused by the zoster virus that can spread itself through air, direct contact with the rash, or contact with the sheets and clothes of infected person. Once contacted, the virus gives a lifelong immunity against the disease.

Chicken Pox can be more painful and dangerous during adulthood. That is why it is preferred to introduce the virus in the immune system during childhood. As medics explain it, the current outbreak of measles is linked to the idea that vaccinating an infant will lead to autism. This fear is totally ill-founded, nonetheless it is popular.

Reasons for pox parties’ popularity

Despite of the approval of these vaccines, there are fractions of people who believe in these parties.  There are groups on social media where these play dates and sleepovers are being requested and advertised every other day.  These requests have especially increased with the increase in the number of cases of shingles.

With the acknowledgement of medical community that shingles is indeed caused by the dormant Chicken Pox virus, people’s faith in vaccine is quite shaken.  These groups have become more active, adding adults to the parties as well.

They believe that being exposed and re-exposed in a chicken pox party is a natural way of arming against both of these diseases. They are even ready to pay for the infected items like lollipops that can transmit the virus. This seems to rise entirely new issues from a medical point of view.

This is not the first time pox parties are a thing, it is merely a recycled idea from the 80’s when the parties were really popular.

Medics opinion

Doctors have repeatedly warned against such methods, but to no avail. First of all, contacting the disease and carrying it through is not a fluke. Here’s why medics do not advise this uncontrolled method of contracting chicken pox:

  • The infections like Chicken Pox usually causes fever and itchy bumps which can scar if scratched.
  • These can appear anywhere on the body resulting in unnecessary discomfort and pain to the child.
  • There are chances of case of a Chicken Pox getting complicated because of bacterial infection or pneumonia.
  • Chicken Pox can even result in death in some cases.
  • There are chances of transmitting other unknown diseases like Hepatitis A and Flu through these lollipops and parties.

As per the statistics, before the approval of the first Chicken Pox vaccine, there were about 150 deaths in children per year in the US from Chicken Pox.

In the US the state of California has explicitly advised against this type of parties and hosting them, however they are growing in popularity and are becoming a social media item.

 

References

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/10/california-officials-warn-against-measles-parties/

http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/02/09/measles-parties-some-parents-want-infect-kids-build-immunity

http://www.medicaldiscoverynews.com/shows/284-party.html

https://www.facebook.com/LetsHaveAChickenpoxParty/timeline

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401362/Chickenpox-Parties.html

Adults need vaccine too, says doctor

Published: Feb 26, 2015

It is unfortunate that medics have not succeeded in maintaining the importance of vaccination over the years. It is quite unbelievable that many people including adults still go down to a disease like measles or mumps which has had so many good vaccines developing every year.

But, Dr.Patrick Scott, who is an infectious disease specialist says that ‘it is about the presumption that people have had over the generation, that measles will not happen to adults. In fact it actually originates from the fact that people born 1956 are actually immune to measles because the disease was a widespread epidemic at that time. But, we don’t really understand that others are still vulnerable to this disease, even though they are adults.’

Adult shingles vaccination

He also adds that ‘adults need to have the Measles vaccine shots in two doses, apart from their childhood dose which will have worn out by the time they reach their 20s. Even other diseases like whooping cough and mumps have been only vaccinated against for a specific time and needs to be boosted as soon as the period is over.’

Dr. Patrick mentions the drawbacks in the present medical processes, saying that ‘it all happens due to medical negligence that adults are not given the required vaccines, and children who have a much more delicate anatomy are being overloaded with unnecessary vaccines’

There is also the Shingles vaccine that is for relatively older people, who might have had chicken-pox  during their childhood. This vaccine is relatively less talked about, as it is for the older people, as against the perception that vaccines are for children. Dr. Patrick suggests all people above 50 years of age who have had chicken-pox should take an appointment with a doctor, and get the Shingles vaccine administered. This vaccine is a onetime vaccine that is very effective in lowering the risk factors associated with Shingles.

Another important thing about vaccines is the age group you are from, in fact certain diseases like HPV (Human papilloma Virus) which is an STD (Sexually transmitted disease) that causes cancer, is more prevalent among young woman of 19-25 years. While, as discussed above certain diseases like Shingles occurs among the older population. So, it is very important for you to visit the doctor and ask him about the vaccinations for your age group. However, many doctors have ignored some important vaccines that the CDC still requires to be administered for a particular age group, because of many reasons like unavailability, cost of procurement etc.

Therefore, a better way would be to check the official page of CDC and refer to the vaccines that are officially meant for your age group. These vaccines should be administered, irrespective of their expenses, because preventing a disease is much easier than curing it.

Chickenpox, Shingles virus linked to another serious condition in seniors

Published: Feb 20, 2015

The virus named Varicella Zoster is responsible for both chickenpox and shingles. The difference is that chickenpox attacks early in the life and after suffering from chicken pox, some of the virus remains in some of body’s nerve in a dormant form for years. Later in life, this virus gets activated and leads to shingles, which is more chronic condition than Chickenpox.

Recently, one of the studies stated that this same virus is also responsible for other health problems like giant cell arterities. And this medical condition mostly attacks old people of the age group 60-80 years. It leads to inflammation of arteries, which in turn leads to pain in head, muscles, jaws and can also lead to serious problems like heart stroke, visual disability or even fatal death.

Shingles causes

Some studies still disagrees with this belief, but Dr. Don Gilden, professor of neurology found in his studies that the usual treatment of steroid for treating Giant cell arterities was not effective on some of the patients with same medical condition. Based on this he proposed that viruses, who causes Chickenpox and shingles were interfering with this line of treatment.

Some researchers also performed biopsy of 95 arterities, which were collected from patients who lead to death due to Giant cell arterities. And their findings suggested that around 74% of patients were having signs of Varicella Zoster virus. They also performed biopsy of patient’s arteries, who were not suffering from this medical condition and only 8% were having sign of virus.

As per the statistics presented by Gilden, around 30 in 100,000 people are affected by Giant cell arterities and as per Dr. Moster, a professor of Ophthalmology and neurology, in age group of 80; this diseases affects one out of 2000 people in a year.

So, Dr. Gilden suggested that medication should be such that inflammation of arteries gets reduced and viruses are also been killed. Thus steroids along with antiviral medicine will be the most effective line of treatment for treating Giant cell arterities caused due to virus.

Chickenpox and shingles vaccines are also available and it is also considered as the one of the best precautionary treatment. But there are no evidences that whether viral vaccines are helpful in preventing Giant cell arterities. Still, Dr. Gilden believes that people who are reaching their 50’s should go for Shingles vaccination, because taking it will also not create any harm to body.

In contrast Dr. Moster believed that there are many things that researchers are still not aware of like whether this vaccine really prevent giant cell arterities, because chickenpox virus is not only responsible for arterities, there are many other causes that can lead to giant cell arterities. Also he wanted researchers to study the effect of antiviral medicines on steroids. Does anti viral medication help to reduce the dose of steroids? Thus many studies are still need to be done.

This research study was released online in Journal Neurology on Feb. 18, 2015.

Free shingles vaccine for Dudley’s older residents

Published: Feb 19, 2015

A free Shingles vaccine has been made available for the aged residents of Dudley. Presently, the residents who are aged more than 70 years are being informed about this one-time vaccine.

Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster, is a nerve infection that makes the affected nerve cause extreme pain and rash over the surrounding area of the nerve. Since, it is a viral infection there are only drugs that can minimize the seriousness of the condition, till it gradually subsides. It is quite common because, research shows that at least 20% of the people get some form of Shingles during their life. The only major complication with Shingles is the intense bouts of pain that it causes, which the older people may not be able to tolerate. Other rare complications include, bacterial infection of the skin which may cause it to become septic, inflammation of the skin area below the eye, and prolonged weakness in case, the affected nerve is a sensory nerve.

Shingles Vaccine

Shingles is quite the equivalent of Chicken-pox in children, in the sense that it is caused by the repeated activation of the chicken-pox virus. The Chicken pox virus that might have affected you as a child, may remain hibernated near the spinal cord, for many years after the disease struck you. Once, this virus is triggered, it may travel through the nerves and infect your skin causing Shingles. However, older people are more vulnerable to this painful disease as against chicken pox, which is more probable among children.

Though the mortality rate is very low(about 0.001%), it has might have a jarring painful effect on the infected people, even years after it has healed.

Mr.Rachel Harris who looks after the healthcare department of Dudley’s Council says ‘the disease may manifest itself as a mild infection that can be cured easily, or as an uncontrollably progressive infection which makes it very uncomfortable for the victim. In any case, it would be prudent to take the vaccine, as it now comes free of cost’

He also adds that ‘any vaccine only does the job of training the body’s immunity against a particular disease, so there is always a probability of getting the disease. But, even if you get the disease, it will not be as virulent as in a non-vaccinated person.’

Another important fact that is mentioned about the disease is that, it has a relationship with chicken-pox, while being contagious. Those who have had chicken pox before cannot get Shingles externally and are not likely to catch chicken-pox again from a Shingles infected person. But, you may get chicken-pox from a Shingles patient if you have not had the Chicken-pox before.

Mr. Harris makes an appeal, saying that ‘for the people of Dudley, this vaccine is available at GP surgeries and anyone who is of an age over 70 years should make no delay in taking an appointment and going to this place to claim their free vaccine.’

Remember, that this is a one time vaccine, as against Flu vaccines or others, that have an expiry period.

Introduction of Shingle vaccine gives a sigh of relief to senior people

Published: Feb 13, 2015

The painful viral disease, Shingles is attacking large number of older people. It is reported that almost 9 old people out of 10 are prone to Shingles in South Africa. It is basically caused by Varicella Zoster virus, which is also responsible for causing chicken pox. Its symptoms include rashes, burning, pain and that can happen at many areas of the body like abdomen, chest, back, ear, mouth, etc. Its symptoms can be mild to severe and can also create other health problems.

As per Dr. Allison Glass, virology specialist, person who already suffered from chicken pox in their early life are more prone to Shingles. The reason behind it is that after chicken pox, the virus becomes inactive and stay in nerves for long years due to one’s strong immune system, but as people reaches 60’s, their immune system also gets lower and this inactive virus again becomes active and start showing Shingles symptoms.

Shingles vaccine

Thus, it attacks mostly aged people over 60 and symptoms are very painful, which can last for years, so also disturbs one’s routine life. Sometime it becomes unbearable and so severe that can even lead to serious medical condition or fatal death. According to Dr. Milton Raff, director at one of the Cape Town’s hospital, there are very limited medications available in the market, which helps to alleviate or treat its symptoms. Thus, doctors are left with very few options for treating Shingles symptoms and so there is great need of Shingles vaccines in South Africa. And after long time, successful Shingle vaccine has also been introduced in the South Africa.

A new Shingles vaccine can be considered as boon for South Africa’s older people as it helps to prevent or reduce the occurrence of Shingles in them. Studies have revealed that effect of Shingles vaccine is remarkable and is considered as the most effective medication for preventing and reducing the symptoms of shingles.

Vaccines are strictly for the use of people above 60’s. Studies suggests that each and every person, who are about to reach their 60’s should go for Shingles vaccine. Vaccines not only prevent people from diseases, but also help to lessen the symptoms of Shingles. So, vaccine is also beneficial to people, who already suffers from this chronic medical condition. Doctors also recommend it to people who had Shingles symptoms in past, because it is also effective in preventing reoccurrence of Shingles.

The only question remains is the safety of taking vaccines. And many studies have revealed that vaccines are totally safe. Although it do have side effects, but they are very normal and can last for few hours or days. So, there are no big issues in relation to its safety. Still studies on their side effects are going on. Also, once a person gets vaccinated, its effect can last at least up to 5 years or more, which indirectly will also help to boost one’s immune system.

Thus, Shingles vaccine has given hopes to older people to live healthy.

Adults are skipping their vaccinations!

Published: Feb 7, 2015

It is a very strange thing that vaccination is hardly considered as a life-saving marvel after one gets across his childhood untouched by these diseases. But, very few vaccines are actually one-shot vaccines and most critical ones require a booster shot after a particular number of years.

In fact, just recently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and prevention has released a statement that many vaccines courses are not at all completed by young adults. In fact, adults are increasingly skipping important vaccines and their booster shots. This is becoming a cause of concern, as people do not understand the basic way in which a vaccine is designed i.e.as a long drawn out course over years or months.

Shingles Vaccine

The Tetanus vaccine is actually designed to get boosted after a period of 10 years. But, it turns out that only about 62.9% of the people between 19 to 49 years of age have actually received the booster shot within ten years before 2013. In fact, this is alarming, considering the fact that people of older ages who are also vulnerable to the deadly disease, have also ignored this vaccine completely. Between the age of 50 and 64, hardly 64% have actually received the booster injection after every ten years, that they are supposed. And for still older people it is much lesser i.e. about 56.4%.

The Shingles vaccine (medically referred to as Herpes Zoster) is not even a known term among many elderly people, who are ironically the most vulnerable group. This is shown by the fact that only about 24% i.e. one in five people over 50 years of age, have taken this vaccine. Though, this has increased over the years, there is still work to do in generating awareness among people.

The HPV (Human Papilloma virus) vaccine is a three course vaccine. But only about one-third of the women between 19 and 26 years of age have taken more than one course. This CDC report says that we are nowhere near eradicating this most easily preventable STD (Sexually Transmitted disease), which also is a cancer causing virus.

There is a range of disease that CDC has surveyed, but these are some highlights. In fact, CDC has not taken any responsibility for this appalling situation, instead it simply suggests some awareness measures that have always been there on its plan every year

Susan Rehm, who is from the department of infectious Diseases at Cleveland Clinic says ‘it unfortunate for medical officials to treat vaccination as a momentary duty, and simply forget the vaccination protocol for a disease. As a result of vaccine being seen as a children’s thing, there are increased cases of diseases like HPV and Measles which are easy to prevent with a single booster shot. This crisis, is partly due to inadequate awareness and partly due to medical negligence.’

Susan Rehm requests that every one child, adult or aged, should refer to the immunization page that CDC has opened for the people. That CDC page has all details of required vaccination specific to a  person’s age.