Want to prevent shingles?

What is shingles?  It is reactivation of latent herpes zoster virus–meaning you’ve had chicken pox in the past and your body holds onto the virus to then let it reactivate.  As we age or as our immune systems becomes weaker, the virus may re-emerge as shingles.  This  typically results in a localized, blister-looking, painful rash on one side of the body.  Before the rash symptoms like

  • headache,
  • sensitivity to light,
  • fatigue,
  • localized abnormal skin sensations (feeling like bugs or hot embers are under the skin)

start one to five days before the rash appears.

The US sees one million new cases of herpes zoster yearly.  1/3 of the population is expected to develop shingles during their lifetime.

The vaccine may cause redness, itching, swelling or warmth where the vaccine was administered but overall the vaccine is safe, effective, and well tolerated.  The 2012 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) suggest immunocompetent people (those of us with a good immune system) get the vaccine at 60 years or older, even if they have a history of shingles.

Ask your physician about details of the shingles vaccine.

About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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