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Herpes Zoster: Infectious disease; know the Why, How and the symptoms!

Most people would understand the tern Herpes Zoster as Shingles. Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus. People complain of a painful, blistering rash. Shingles can cause nerve pain that can last for months. When you first catch the chickenpox, usually during adolescences, the virus stays in your body and can reactivate later in life. The symptoms of shingles include tiredness, headache, discomfort in the eyes from bright lights, and a burning sensation in the area where the blisters will appear.

Shingles is a serious disease that can cause severe nerve pain that can last for months

It can also lead to serious eye problems, including blindness. It can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, swelling of the brain, and even death. Symptoms can occur for several days before the rash appears.

Shingles is called by the varicella zoster virus, this is the same virus that causes chickenpox

Please remember, you are considered contagious until the last blister has dried and scabbed over. You should avoid sharing towels and wash clothes. You should also avoid the public if your rash is oozing fluid. It is especially important to avoid contact with pregnant worm who never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine.

People with weakened immune systems should also be avoided

It is possible that the rash can become infected. You are normally contagious for about 3 to 5 days. The rash can last about 10 to 15 days. It often makes a stipe or belt-like pattern on side of the face or body. If you develop pain, redness, or rash without blisters on the face, it is recommended that you see your doctor immediately. Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of getting shingles later in life. It has been suggested that the shingles virus occurs when you have a weakened immune system. If you have shingles, you should cover the rash, avoid touching or scratching the rash, and wash your hands frequently to prevent the virus from spreading. In Australia, about one in three people will develop shingles during their lifetime. Australian adults between the ages of 70-79 are the most affected.

Luckily, in Australia, the shingles vaccine is free for people aged 70 years through NIP.

The NIP stands for the National Immunization Program. They are responsible for scheduling a series of immunizations given at specific times throughout your life. This ranges from birth through to adulthood. In Australia, vaccines for children from 12 months of age became available in 2000. This will help with the spread of Shingles when this new generation reaches maturity. It is recommended that that anyone over 70 years old should get immunized against herpes zoster. The more people vaccinated, the less likely the disease will spread. The shingles immunizations are available in each Australian state and territory.

The shingles vaccine is called Zostavax

There are possible side effects from the vaccine. These mild side effects include pain, swelling where the needle went in, as well as headaches and tiredness. Vaccines strengthen your immune system by training it to recognize and fight germs. The benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the risks. It is estimated that about 2.5 million deaths are prevented by immunizations. Vaccinations also help protect the health of future generations.

You can get your vaccine from a range of vaccination providers

In Australia, your local doctor can give the vaccine. There are also other places you can get the vaccine, which include: local council or community health clinics, Aboriginal Medical Services, school based immunization programs, and sometimes in your workplace. You can find an immunization provider near you by contacting your state or territory health department.

The National Center for Immunization research and surveillance is also a good resource for you to check out

Their website is ncirs.org.au. It is best to keep in mind that Herpes Zoster (Shingles) is not something to fool around with. If you think you have it, see your doctor. Remember to stay away from the public until your blisters have scabbed over. The best thing for you to do is to get vaccinated against Shingles, so that you don’t have to worry about hurting yourself or infecting anyone else. Your health is important to us.