Shingles Herpes Zoster virus


The Shingles Virus is a painful skin rash that occurs on one side of the face or body. The vaccine, Zostavox, has been approved by the FDA for people of the ages 50-59. Zostavox reduces the risk of developing Shingles and the long term pain following the virus. The risk of contracting the disease increases as you age. It is recommended that people ages 60+ should get a one time vaccination to prevent the disease, however, there is no max age for receiving the vaccine. The downside of the virus, is that once you have had the virus you can still get it later. Generally, the vaccine's protection lasts around five years.

A mild cases of the Shingles virus.

The Shingles vaccine is a live vaccine that has been used in the USA since 2006 and has reduced the risk of contracting the disease by 51%. Since the vaccination, almost 1 in 3 people will contract the virus at least once in their lifetime, and rarely will someone contract it as second or third time. In the US alone, the Shingles virus takes 96 of the yearly deaths. Most of these are people who are 50+ years old and people who have a weak immune system. The chances of contracting the virus have increased throughout the years as researchers have found that once that you have had the Chicken Pox virus, you have the Shingles virus in you just waiting to come out. This includes the Chicken Pox vaccine.

Before the vaccine, the Shingles virus was actually not that prevalent. There are a lot more cases of Shingles now in the 2010's than in the 1990's. For example, in 1992 the number of Shingles cases was 10,000 in the US. In 2010, that number is about 14,000.

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Created with images by NIAID - "Varicella-zoster Virus" • brownpau - "Shingles Lesions (Varicella Zoster, Trigeminal/Mandibular)"

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