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April 10, 2012 > Over age 50? Had Chicken Pox?

Over age 50? Had Chicken Pox?

You could be at risk for Shingles

About one in three people will develop shingles, also known as herpes zoster, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus stays in your body. Years later it can be reactivated, causing shingles.

You can get shingles at any age, but it's more common in people over age 50. What is Shingles? Shingles generally starts as a painful rash on one side of the face or body. The sensation can be itching, tingling, burning, constant aching, or a deep pain. The rash forms blisters that usually scab over in seven to 10 days. The rash lasts from two to four weeks in most cases. The main symptom is pain, but other possible symptoms include fever, headache, chills, and upset stomach.

Consult Your Physician and Get Vaccinated!
The only way to reduce your risk for shingles is through a vaccine. It's recommended that people age 50 and over who have had chickenpox get vaccinated. The vaccine reduces the risk for shingles by about 50 percent and the vaccine can also reduce the risk for developing post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) in those who do get shingles by about 60 percent. Anyone who thinks they may have shingles should consult their physician.

Learn the Facts About Shingles
Washington Hospital is hosting a Health & Wellness seminar titled Learn the Facts about Shingles. The seminar will take place on Tuesday, April 24, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium, Rooms A & B at 2500 Mowry Ave. (Washington West) in Fremont. Dianne Martin, M.D., a physician specializing in infectious disease, will discuss how to recognize the symptoms of Shingles and how to reduce your risk for developing the condition. This event is co-sponsored by Washington Senior Care.

To register for Learn the Facts about Shingles, or for more information, please visit or call (800) 963-7070.

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