- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Shingles: What Do You Know About It?
What Do You Really Know About Shingles?
1. Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus TRUE_______FALSE_______
2. Shingles is contagious TRUE_______FASE________
3. Shingles may reoccur but only in the same spot TRUE_______FALSE___________
4. There is headache and photosensitivity last with shingles TRUE________FALSE__________
5. People over the age of 60 should receive the shingles vaccine TRUE________FALSE______
6. There is a blood test that can diagnose shingles TRUE__________FALSA_________
Do You Need Information on Chickenpox (Varicella)?
Yes, because the two are the same virus.
An article from WebMD talks about Varicella, who can stay home and rest, take plenty of fluids; take many baths with baking soda or oatmeal, rest, watch cartoons and drive the parent or sitter crazy. Right, you guessed it; young children. However, if the person with chickenpox, even if that person is a child, has an autoimmune disorder, is older than seven years of age, has any chronic medical condition or disease, they have to be seen as soon as possible by their physician to order to receive the proper treatment.
However, what happens if the sitter of the child with the chickenpox also happens to be the grandparent? That’s right, now there’s both young children and their grandparent down with the same virus; Varicella.
Just as 1 + 1=2 now one case of chickenpox added to an adult who has never had chickenpox equals…chickenpox.
What if an adult who has had chickenpox gets the fluid from the vesicles (oozing sores) of the child’s chickenpox on an open cut or sore? Will they get the shingles? No.
But will they catch the chickenpox? If the person has never had chickenpox then yes,they could get chickenpox regardless of how old they are at the time.
If the person has not had chickenpox then that person may get the chickenpox and would then be at risk of contracting the shingles. sometime later in their life.
Why? Because shingles *herpes zoster) can only occur once the person has the antibody for the chickenpox in is/her own bloodstream.
As with all infections, the best way to prevent the spread of any disease is to wash your hands.
Also as usual, the older we become, the harder it is or our bodies to recover from anything, even a simple virus.
Adults are extremely vulnerable to chickenpox IF they have never had chickenpox. There are two definitive tests for the zoster virus, a blood test and a culture from an oozing sore.
This is the WebMD site that was mentioned earlier. It is very informative, stating the pain affects the nerve roots. In fact, the person who has shingles often refers to the pain as a deep, tingling type of discomfort that gradually worsens as the days pass. Eventually the virus will work its way out of the body and will exhibit a flat, reddened “v” shaped area, typically only on one side of the body with the most common site being the flank, or lower back. The area then begins to show evidence of small blister like circles, similar to the vesicles with chickenpox.
However, instead of itching, there is severe nerve pain. Usually, all evidence of the shingles outbreak will be gone within four to six weeks. Re-occurrences are rare but not unknown and can occur on another site of the body. Most of the time shingles stays to one side or the other of the spinal cord however there are cases when shingles virus is bilateral, on both sides of the body.
The medication commonly prescribed is called zovirax. Medline Plus is a good site to learn not only about shingles but zovirax (acyclovir) as well. There are also other medications that may be needed for a while after recovery from shingles due to what is known as postherpetic neuralgia (pain).
Perhaps the best news about this often disabling condition is the fact that now there is a vaccine to help protect everyone over the age of sixty. There are persons who should not receive his vaccine, including persons with active a case of tuberculosis, anyone with an allergy to gelatin or neomycin, anyone who has weakened immune system or who may be pregnant.
There are also benefits found when persons over the age of sixty add proper amounts of fruits and vegetables to their diet. Additional studies indicate that persons who are exposed later in life to the Varicella virus are less likely to develop shingles. However, as most children are receiving the vaccine to prevent chickenpox altogether this is less likely to happen. Additional information can be found at the following address:
Only your physician can diagnose and prescribe treatment for shingles. However, having the information, forewarned so to speak, is the best and first defense anyone can own.
Still want the answers to the quiz? OK
1. TRUE…THE VIRUS’NAME IS HERPES ZOSTER
2. TRUE…EXTREMELY CONTAGIOUS UNTIL THE PERSONS RASH AND OOZING BLISTERS DEVElOP A CRUST
3. FALSE…MOST PERSONS WHO HAVE SHNGLES DO NOT HAVE REOCCURENCES, HOWEVER, IF IT DOES REOCCUR IT CAN APPEAR IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT AREA OF THE BODY
4. FALSE…THESE SYMPTOMS OCCUR FIRST WITH HERPES ZOSTER (SHINGLES)
5. TRUE…ALL HEALTHY ADULTS OVER THE AGE OF SIXTY SHOULD RECEIVE THE VACCINE.
6. TRUE…A BLOOD TEST CAN DETECT THE IgM ANTIBODY IN THE BODY BUT ONLY WHEN THE VIRUS IS ACTIVE. THE FLUID FROM THE VESICLES CAN ALSO BE CULTURED, HOWEVER BY THIS TIME THE VISUAL DIAGNOSIS ITSELF IS SUFFICIENT
What is written here does not now nor does it ever take the place of your physician’s advice and services of your physician.
Consult your physician every time for all things medically related and of course, if you feel you have any of the signs or symptoms of what has been written in this hub, please contact your physician for a consultation as soon as possible.
Other Nursing Hubs You May Find Interesting
- Shingles - MayoClinic.com
Shingles Comprehensive overview covers causes, symptoms, treatments and prevention, which includes the Zostavax vaccine.