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Shingles – Why must you care?

What’s shingles?

In medical terminology, shingles is referred as Herpes zoster. Simply zoster is how it’s referred commonly. It’s a viral disease, which comes with dangerous consequences and creates unbearable nuisance. It affects single side of the body from starting stages to finish. For instance, if shingles has its impact on right side of body, it leaves the left half undisturbed. It is characterized by agonizing skin rashes on limited part on one side of the body. The rashes happen on skin with blisters all over it. It often occurs as stripes and it’s caused by initial infection associated with varicella zoster virus.

What’s the big deal?

Viruses don’t have death unfortunately. They can become active again after any number of years. Varicella zoster virus causes chicken pox, which is a common illness worldwide. The same virus stays in the body even after the victim is cured from chicken pox. It gets active again as shingles sooner or later. As aging happens, you are more prone to the risk of getting shingles. As aging happens your metabolism gets lowered. Thereby your immunity gets lowered as a result. The zoster virus is expected to strike as shingles when immunity is low in the body.

Shocking stats:

  • If you ever had chicken pox, you can be sure shingles virus exists in your body. Like we said before, it’s the same virus which causes shingles and chicken pox.
  • You can be cured from the pox, but you wouldn’t have purged the virus biologically.
  • 95% of Canadian adults have had chicken pox at least once in their lives.
  • One in three people in the world have had chicken pox least once in their lives. That’s how common chicken pox is, and that’s why watching for shingles is of paramount importance.
  • A vaccination for shingles brings the needed cure and relief.

More dangerous effects of Shingles:

In most cases, as the rash heals, the pain goes off too. Pain resolves after you treat the rashes and shingles get mostly cured. Nevertheless, in some cases, elongated nerve pain happens. Other serious complications are a real prospect. The nerve pain can last from months to a whole year to give an excruciating experience. They can remain even for a year after the rashes are treated and cured. The excruciating pain can take its toll psychologically. Anxiety and depression is often caused when nerve pain happens. The nervous damage thereby instigated can result in loss of mobility. As a result, independent living can become impossible temporarily

Plan of action:

Prevention betters cure in this case too. Getting proper vaccinations can help you prevent shingles. Vaccination ensures four years of protection at the minimum. Revaccination needs are not yet clearly known in medical world. Oral and genital herpes are covered and the outbreaks of it are thus prevented. Do check if you have had chicken pox in your life. Ask your parents to know if you have had chicken pox during childhood. If you are assertive of having had chicken pox once in life, you must consider anti Shingles vaccination. Shingles strike when you least expect it, so be prepared for all times.

Solving it the Mediplex way…

Mediplex recommends Zostavax vaccine to prevent and treat shingles. Although it’s approved for usage in cases of people over 50 years old, Mediplex suggest the 60 years or older patients alone to use it. The vaccine costs less than 200 USD in all Mediplex branches. Zostavax is given as “once in a lifetime” live injection on the upper arm. People with extremely low immune system are not advised to get vaccinated. Though revaccination doesn’t happen often, the strength of vaccine gets weakened with duration.

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