If you are over 50 years old and think you may have had chickenpox before, I advise you to get the Shingles vaccine, which is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The trouble is, after getting chickenpox, this virus tends to hang around in our nervous system as a person with a history of chickenpox retains the varicella zoster (VZV) – shingles.
The virus that causes Shingles is the same varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox. Once the virus is in the body, it never goes away even after the chickenpox infection clears. The virus (VZV) remains dormant in your nerve cells.
It gets reactivated by the weakening of the immune system which is often due to physical causes – i.e.: post flu or exhaustion, sometimes emotional stresses. It then travels through the nerve cells to an area of skin and causes pain, a week later a rash that is often accompanied by blisters.
Most sufferers of VZV find the pain intolerable. “The pain can disrupt sleep, mood, work, and activities of daily living, adversely impacting the quality of life and leading to social withdrawal and depression.” (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5705a1.htm)
With the Shingles vaccine (Zostavax), this dreadful situation that brings down the quality of life can be prevented. Zostavax stimulates the body to produce more antibodies against VZV and strengthens the body’s immunity to it. Thus, it prevents the dormant virus from reactivating to cause Shingles.
This Shingles vaccine is available in the medical practice and is only needed one time. If you want to receive the vaccine, contact the nurse. Once is enough!
Health and Happiness