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The term Shingles may not sound too dangerous. But it can be as nasty.
Shingles or the herpes zoster looks like a simple rash on the outside. But it is actually a viral infection which usually appears around either sides of the torso. It came from the same virus as the chickenpox – varicella-zoster virus. It is not commonly lethal, but it can still be hazardous for children and older people.
Below are five facts that you ought to know about shingles and can perhaps help you prevent it for yourself and your loved ones as well:
- There is no particular cause for shingles
Yes, it just happens. But it can be associated with weaker immune system, which is why older people – 50 years old and above – are the more usual casualties of this disease.
- Shingles is a chickenpox aftermath
As mentioned earlier, shingles is caused by the same virus as what is causing chickenpox – the Varicella-zoster virus. In reality however, you cannot have shingles unless you already had chickenpox. This is because the same virus that gave you chickenpox will be the same virus that can produce shingles inside your body. After the effect of chickenpox, the virus can lie inactive in your nervous system for years and come out inflamed in the form of shingles throughout certain area/s of your body, along your skin’s nerve pathways. But the (slightly) good news is not everyone who had chickenpox will experience shingles.
- Prevention exists
This is the actual good news – you can protect yourself and your loved ones from shingles. The best option would be to vaccinate your child early on against chickenpox with the varicella vaccine, widely known as Varivax. Anyone who has not been affected by chickenpox can also have this vaccine just to be sure.
In case you already had chickenpox, there is still some vaccines available against shingles. One option is the Shingrix that offers protection for a decade or so. This vaccine is also approved by the FDA and is recommended for 50 years old and above. According to Tittle & Perlmuter, medical malpractices can be avoided for the treatment of Shingles if only the public is more aware of the preventions available rather than simply the treatment.
- Shingles is painful
Because it affects the nerve pathways towards the skin, the first thing that an affected person will feel is the burning sensation inside the skin. There are cases when the rashes will not manifest on the surface, but the pain will be certain.
- It is contagious as a chickenpox
Shingles is contagious mostly for people who haven’t had chickenpox or don’t have a vaccine against it. This can be dangerous most importantly for children and elderly.
Still, the best way to prevent this disease is to keep yourself fit and healthy at all times. Wellness is a must against shingles.