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Radio Shows | Stop the Pain — Shingles Vaccine | mp3wmawav

Many of you have had chicken pox and some have scars to show for it.

But did you know even though you recovered, the virus could come back in a painful way? It's one of the benefits of old age.

The chicken pox virus also known as Varicella zoster can come back as shingles when you age and when your immune system is weakened. That's because when the blisters went away, the virus did not. It hid dormant in certain nerve cells.

Luckily there is now a vaccine for shingles and it's recommended for anyone over sixty years old. You should get it because shingles can be very painful and last for months. The first sign is often burning pain and sometimes numbness or itchiness in one particular location. This is always only on one side of the body.

After about a week blisters similar to chicken pox will appear in that area. If the infection is in your eyes, it can impair vision and even cause blindness. For some the pain is so intense even a light breeze can be excruciating. A shingles infection can be a life changing event.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends a single dose of the vaccine for adults 60 or older. It can prevent shingles or if you get the disease will make it less severe. Researchers found the vaccine reduced the expected number of shingles cases by half.

For most people who get shingles, the lesions heal and the pain goes away in three to five weeks. But for some people it can last months or years. But to avoid it, talk to your doctor about getting the vaccine.

You can even help your children avoid it by getting them the chicken pox vaccine because if you've never had the virus, you can not get shingles.

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Shingles Diseases —
Questions and Answers

This is a Center for Disease Control site that provides basic information about Shingles which is mediated by Herpes zoster.
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General Questions about the Shingles Vaccine
A discussion of Zostavax, a shingles vaccine approved by the FDA in 2006. Information is provided about who should get the vaccine, its efficacy and use.
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ShinglesInformative site that gives an overall clinical picture of the disease and its treatment. It also covers risk factors and prevention. There are links to pictures that may help diagnose the disease.
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