Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Thursday Thirteen

I found out my sister has shingles, so I am going to get the shingles vaccine.  I used to say, "I'll take my chances," because the cost is so high and is often not covered by insurance.  Now it's hit close to home, and I am willing to pay to prevent this condition. Consider this a public service announcement.

1.  Shingles is a virus  that is already in your body if you have ever had chicken pox.  It lies dormant in your body and will reemerge in 1 out of 3 people causing shingles.  Not good odds.
2.  The reason it resurfaces is unclear, but it may have something to do with age and/or a weakened immune system.
3.  A person with shingles is contagious to anyone who is not immune to the chicken pox virus until the shingles sores begin to crust over.  If the virus is passed to anyone who hasn't had chicken pox, they would get chicken pox, not shingles.
4.  The virus can only be spread by direct contact with open sores.
Photo Credit
5.  The symptoms include pain,  a red rash that turns into fluid-filled blisters that eventually dry up and crust over, and itching.
6. Other symptoms can include sensitivity to touch, burning, numbness, tingling, fever, headache, sensitivity to light, and fatigue.
7.  The rash often develops as a path of blisters that wraps around the torso.
8.  It often occurs on the face, neck, and hands as well.
Photo Credit
9.  Anyone who has had chicken pox can get shingles, but it is more common and more serious in people over age 50.  People who have HIV or cancer, are receiving cancer treatments, or people who are taking anti-rejection drugs are at increased risk.
10. One of the complications is postherpetic neuralgia, damage to nerve fibers with severe pain long after the sores are gone.
11. Shingles can also cause eye infections which may lead to vision loss and bacterial skin infections.
12. In extreme cases, shingles can lead to encephalitis, facial paralysis, or hearing and balance problems.
13.  There is no cure, but there are treatments available to speed recovery and prevent complications.  There are anti-viral drugs that can be prescribed, pain relievers, and topical creams that can help ease the symptoms.
Vaccine Finder
I am going to get vaccinated because I would much rather prevent the virus from attacking me than have to deal with the rash, pain, and possible complications.  Thank you to the Mayo Clinic for providing so much information.

Link up with Thursday Thirteen!


8 comments:

Shelley Munro said...

I've heard of a few people having shingles recently. Our neighbor had it and was off work for quite a while. We can get a vaccination down here in NZ but it's very expensive.

Stacey Schneller said...

My mom has had shingles twice. It stinks. She was told to get the shot 6 months later after she was healed from them. She did get the shot but it was expensive. I hope your sister gets better soon. Have a good day.

colleen said...

My mom, who was about 89 at the time, got it after a cortisone shot that I believe weakened her immune system. I didn't know it was contagious by direct contact when I was helping her heal from it or I forgot. She used a had pain killer patch.

Mia Celeste said...

Good post. I had shingles, so I really relate to what you're saying. :) Thanks.

Heather said...

Definitely not something anyone wants to get. *Shudder*

CountryDew said...

Probably a shot I will need to get at some point. Good info.

Laane said...

It's not safe for pregnant women, especially not when the pregnancy is in the first three months.

My 13 are here:
http://www.heartoflaane.com/2016/01/thursday-13-1.html

Tamy Bollar said...

I sure hope your sister gets better fast and that you don't get it! Take care of yourself.

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