Vaccinations could eliminate shingles

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Published: Jan 22, 2015

Vaccinations for shingles are now available, these vaccines could lead an end to shingles. These vaccines help in preventing rash, blisters and severe pain that stays for years in some cases. The reactivated bacteria sometimes stay for a longer time interval, so there is a chance of getting shingles again. Vaccine helps in preventing the recurrence of shingles.

Shingles occurs when the chickenpox virus re-activates itself. It generally occurs in people with an age of 50 or above. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated about 1 million cases of shingles every year. According to them the number of patients that can develop shingles in their lifetime is very high.

Shingles treatment

Dr. George Morris, medical director of Centracare clinic said that the virus hides in nerve roots. The reactivated virus causes a painful skin rash and sometimes even takes four weeks to clear up. However, time taken is more in case of people with low immunity. The initial symptoms are red spots and pain in various parts of the body.

Sometimes pain doesn’t go even after the rash clears up, this result in a complication called Post-herpetic neuralgia. In most of the cases the pain resolves in a few weeks or months, but for some people it can last for years. This complication generally occurs to untreated people with an age of 60 or above. This can be cured by shingles vaccines. CDC recommends this vaccine for people with age 60 and over.

Morris said this vaccine provides a booster dose of immunity to those people who already had chickenpox. He said that although CDC recommends the vaccine for people over the age of 60, it would be better to start it at the age of 50. Morris said that this vaccine is 60-70  percent at diminishing the symptoms and can even prevent it from occurring again. It can even decrease the pain that comes after shingles. Morris said that their major concern is to prevent that chronic pain.

After contracting the disease there is no need for pain medications and anti-viral drugs.

Morris says that discussing this vaccine with health care provider would be better so that you can get a better idea about the medicine. Shingles is contagious and can spread to other people. However, sometimes people can get chickenpox from an active shingles case.

He said that “Now is a good time of year, when people are getting flu vaccines to ask about what other vaccines may be appropriate,” People who are taking pneumonia vaccine should not take this vaccine as they can decrease the effectiveness of each other.

People have started giving chickenpox vaccine to the children, this will surely decrease the cases of shingles in the future.

However, they will also need boosters when they get older as it can’t be said for sure whether the chickenpox vaccine will have its effect for a longer period or not as the vaccine was not used until recently.