Are You at Risk for Shingles?

Posted in Health by Publisher, Port Of Harlem Snippets on February 21st, 2013

Childhood diseases can hit adults and when they do, they often strike with a vengeance. Barbara
By Theo Hodge, Jr. MD

Walters learned that this year when doctors discovered that she has chicken pox. “She’d never had it as a child. So now she’s been told to rest, she’s not allowed any visitors — and we’re telling you, Barbara, no scratching!,” said her The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg. After having chicken pox, 83-year-old Walters in now a risk of contracting shingles.

If you have ever had chicken pox, then you are at risk for developing shingles. Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles. Following recovery from chicken pox, the virus becomes dormant in the body. When shingles develop, a rash or blisters appear on the skin, generally on one side of the body. This is a sign that the virus that was asleep in the nerve cells has reactivated and travelled from the nerve out to the skin. Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) can occur in people of all ages and the risk increases as you get older.

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