Monday, February 16, 2009

Shingles and Traveling

Question: Can I travel with Shingles?

This is best answered with a little information about this disease. Warning: some of the following pictures are a little graphic, but are a great illustration of the impact Shingles can make.

Shingles or Herpes Zoster is a disease caused by the varicella virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once you’ve contracted the varicella virus, it never completely leaves the body, lying dormant along the nerve pathways. Sometimes however, it is reactivated when disease, stress or aging weakens the immune system.

Shingles can first appear as flu-like symptoms with general malaise, sensitivity to light, tingling, itching or pain on one side of the body or face and progresses to a painful, blistering rash along the path of one or more nerves. As seen below:
http://medartfx.com/images/r_herpes_zoster_shingles_w300.jpg

It is characterized by excruciating pain. The rash is usually limited to one side of the body and may blister. The blisters will fill with fluid and eventually crust over. It generally takes 2 to 4 weeks for the blisters to heal.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_1TT3ZRxPJEM/SRkICkpBVRI/AAAAAAAAAfM/o4PzO2TcaOM/s400/shingles.jpg

Your risk for shingles increases as you age. Almost half a million cases in the United States occur each year in people 60 years of age and older. Over 90% of adults in the US have had chickenpox and are at risk for shingles. Up to half of all people living to age 85 will develop shingles during their lifetime. It is estimated that up to 800,000 people in the United States suffer from shingles each year, and the incidence is expected to increase as the population ages.

MOST people choose not to travel while afflicted with Shingles and that is a wise decision.
Fluid from shingles blisters is contagious and direct exposure can cause chicken pox in the unvaccinated or those without a history of having had chickenpox, so it's best to stay home and avoid the spread to the unprotected. The Shingles vaccine, Zostavax TM , is available at all Passport Health locations and is for people aged 60 years and up ( Dependent upon health and family history, it could be prescribed for those younger. Be sure to see your doctor for the proper recommendations). See the video below for a personal story of how Shingles can change your life.



Shingles Vaccine - video powered by Metacafe


18 comments:

  1. Does this mean that people previously infected with chicken pox have less resistance to this disease?

    http://www.hsbc.com.hk/1/2/hk/insurance/healthnet/archive/s0809-1

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  2. In a way, yes, you do have less resistance because you cannot get Shingles unless you have at some time in your life been exposed to the Varicella (chicken pox) virus.

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  3. hey thanks.
    Hi, Please keep the below tips for good health..

    - move more (get up and clean, organize, walk, exercise)
    - drink lots of water (alteast 2 lts a day)
    - sleep (well) at the same time every night
    - eat more vegetables and fruit
    - don't eat dessert after EVERY meal and make sure it's small

    Check http://www.completehealthtips.com for more health related tips and advise.

    ReplyDelete
  4. HI,
    IM a 31yr old male, physically fit and active, and i got Shingles last week while i was camping.
    My family instantly said its poison Ivy or poison Oak,, but i have never had issues with that plant in the past.
    I went to the doctor yesterday after having these little blisters on my stomoch for 5 days, ,, and they say i got Shingles, and its a good thing I came in because Shingles dont go away if its not treated,,,, then prescribed me some type of anyi-viral meds that i have to take for 7 days,,,,, and then i should start to see the Shingles go away.
    They itch a little, but I dont scratch them.,, the sun makes them swell and hurt.
    Yesterday, i started vomiting, and got very very dizzy. I took a nap(3hours), woke up still dizzy, ate some food, then ran to the bathrooom to vomit again.. I have not eaten since. And i am still dizzy,,
    I have made some strange mistakes , like, turning left when i meant to turn right,, or plugging in my USB jumpdrive into the wrong place on my laptop.
    Very strange stuff....

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  5. I recently lost my job, and decided to travel across the country to seek another. Right after I was terminated, I got shingles on my index and middle finger, and my thigh (I had chicken pox when I was 8), but they cleared up after about 3 weeks. This past week or so, I've gotten 2 more outbreaks on my thigh. Do shingles usually come back after they've cleared up?

    ReplyDelete
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  8. Pura Sun - Good information and posting contain the most suggestible and informative. Nice posting and helpful info. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Shingles is the re-emergence of the dormant Chicken Pox virus that you most likely suffered from as a child. It usually appears due to a weakened immune system, which could be the result of another disease or trauama. It spreads to a specific region of the body and infects the nerves, sending mixed signals to the brain and resulting in a rash of painful blisters.
    After a few days or weeks of the Shingles virus re-appearing, you will begin noticing symptoms. It usually starts with a fever and then leads to itchy, painful red blisters covering a region of the body.

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  10. Mine started with intense arm pain (mine was localized to my extremities not torso) and it radiated up to my head as well as down to my fingers. I had EXTREME light sensitivity and ANYTHING that touched my arm, even fabric from my clothes sent me jolting with pain. It wasn't until my head began to have pressurized pain did I see a doctor. THey told me I had shingles and almost as soon as it was said the vomiting started. I was placed on anti-viral and tramadol for pain. AFter a few days I see no improvement but the Dr.s told me that it takes up to 3 weeks to clear after starting meds. The antiviral speeds up the virus process, but omiting a diet in grains helps to kill off the virus.So far blisters keep coming and teh pain is still very present. I hope that the pain goes away. I like work. I can't be a homebody.

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  13. That is horrible. I will definitely get a vaccine shot to lessen my chances of this disease.

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  14. Site's character and a great color match .. I will recommend your site to the other platforms.

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  15. Shingles is so gross. I can't imagine myself having that kind of illness.

    ReplyDelete
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