Defining What It Is &the Breakdown of Chemicals Used to Cure the Virus.
What Are Shingles?
It is a skin rash caused by a nerve and skin inflammation from the same virus that previously caused chickenpox.
What Age Group Does Shingles Usually Affect?
There is no particular age group in which shingles occurs, it can affect babies, children, or adults who have or have not had the chicken pox.
The Primary Causes of Shingles.
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus; it is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
Duration of the Rash & Complications.
A shingles rash can take a while to heal, anywhere from two to four weeks. Complications can last longer, although postherpetic neuralgia usually disappears by one to three months after onset.
The Symptoms and Signs of Having Shingles
The first symptom is usually one-sided pain, tingling, or burning. The pain and burning may be severe and is usually present before any rash appears.
Are Shingles Preventable?
The main way to prevent shingles is to get a vaccination. Adults age 60 years or older can receive a single dose of the shingles vaccine, called Zostavax. The shingles vaccine is used only as a prevention strategy, however. It's not intended to treat people who currently have the disease. The vaccine contains live virus and should not be given to people who have weakened immune systems.
Contagious or Non-Contagious
Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another. However, a person with shingles can transmit the virus that causes shingles to others. If a person who has never had chickenpox is infected with VZV, he or she will develop chickenpox, not shingles.
There is no cure for shingles, but antiviral medications can reduce the severity and duration of the disease. Antiviral medications can also reduce the risk of developing postherpetic neuralgia, which is a serious complication of shingles.
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