What is Shingles?Published: 2017-09-06
Date Modified: 2017-09-06
At Bryant Family Managed Care, we feel it important to share as much information with you as possible. Here is some information regarding Shingles.
FACTS AND STATISTICS:
1 in 3 people in the US will develop Shingles (Zoster or Herpes Zoster). There are approximately 1 million cases of shingles each year. Anyone can get shingles, including children. However, the risk increases as you get older. Half of all cases are age 60 and older. People who have a compromised immune system are at greater risk.
Shingles is caused by varicella zoster virus (Chickenpox). Once a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays inactive in the body.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
It is a painful rash that develops on one side of the body or face. The rash forms blisters. Often times, people have pain, itching, or tingling up to 5 days before the rash develops. The rash usually lasts 7-10 days.
Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another. However, if you have shingles, you can spread the virus to someone who has never had chickenpox. They will develop chickenpox..not shingles.
There are several antiviral medications used to treat shingles (Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, and Famcicolivir). Medications should be started as soon as possible after the rash appears. You may also need pain medication.