By: Kimberly Houser, PharmD, RPh
Did you know that one in three people will experience Shingles in their lifetime?1 Most people can think of a family member or close friend that has had a firsthand experience with the painful rash, blisters, and maybe even the associated complications.
Shingles tends to develop as a person ages and is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV).2 This is the virus that causes chickenpox. It lays dormant in the body and may re-erupt as shingles later in life. The bottom line is if you were born before the year 1980,VZV is considered to already be inside your body, even if you have never had chickenpox3!
So what can you do to prevent Shingles? Get vaccinated! There is a vaccine that is FDA approved for individuals aged 50 and older to help prevent Shingles called Zostavax. This vaccine is now available at all Price Chopper Pharmacies and is covered by most Medicare Part D plans. Ask your Pharmacist today for details!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shingles [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2012 November 02]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/index.html
- PubMed Health. Shingles [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2012 November 02]. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001861/
- Immunization Action Coalition. Ask the Experts- Zoster [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2012 November 02]. Available from: http://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_zos.asp