Get the jab and prevent the excruciating pain that can accompany this infection.
Shingles: this incredibly painful viral infection causes a rash in elderly populations, and can make your skin blister as the infection wraps around your torso like a snake.
According to the CDC, nearly 1 million Americans- or 1 in 3 people- will develop shingles as some point in their lifetime. The doom-like quality of the illness is that the risk of getting it increases dramatically as you get older.
So how can you prevent it? Simply put, go and get the vaccine. A vaccine already exists on the market, but the good news is that an even better serum is about to be released. Experts say it’s extremely effective.
“This vaccine has spectacular initial protection rates in every age group,” said Dr. William Schaffner, preventive disease specialist at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, to the New York Times. “The immune system of a 70- or 80-year-old responds as if the person were only 25 or 30.”
The trouble with the present, older vaccine called Zostavax is that the immune systems of elderly patients don’t always react to it very well. And when this happens, little protection is offered.
Shingrix, the new vaccine will be shipped out by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline sometime this month and according to a recent post in the New York Times, in large international trials it proved to be more than 90% effective.
Who is at risk of getting the shingles? If you caught chicken pox as a child, (or as and adult, for that matter), you can get it. Once you fight off chicken pox, the illness literally hides in your system for years, and for an unknown reason, it can resurface once you’re over 50. (It can also resurface before this, but cases are rare).
It can be hard to treat, and there is no cure.
The new vaccine will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies and it might come some pain, but compared to shingles, it’s minimal.
For more information on Shingrix and other vaccines, contact your doctor and protect yourself.
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