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People in their 70s across the UK will be offered a vaccine against shingles from this September.
Experts have been recommending routine immunisation against the disease, which causes a painful rash, for some years. The government-led programme will target 70, 78 and 79-year-olds in the first instance and should prevent tens of thousands of cases a year.
Elderly people are at greatest risk and vaccination should prevent nearly half of cases in the over-70s.
It is estimated that, in England alone, around 800,000 people will be eligible to receive it in the first year. The Department of Health said the vaccination programme would cost about ?25m a year in England but would save the NHS about ?20m a year in fewer hospital stays, doctors appointments and prescriptions.
From September, those aged 70 and 79 in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be invited to take up the vaccination.
Over the next few years, the programme will expand to more of the 70-79 age group across the UK until it is fully covered. Thereafter, the jab should only need to be offered to people as they reach their 70th birthday.
The virus can remain inactive in the nervous system for decades, with the body’s immune system keeping it in check, but later in life it can flare up again and emerge, this time as shingles. If you have not had chickenpox before, you can catch it from someone with shingles but it is not possible to catch shingles itself from someone with the condition. From July, all babies aged between two and four months will be offered a two-dose oral vaccine against the rotavirus, a highly infectious diarrhoea and vomiting bug. The programme was supposed to begin in 2014, but will now start later this year with two-year-olds. The shingles rashes are caused by the virus called varicella-zoster, the same virus that brings about chickenpox.
A specific cure for shingles has not yet been developed, so antiviral drugs are used to attack the virus and get rid of the rashes. The rashes can be treated at home as well through applying cool compresses and calamine lotion to treat the inflammation and redness.


U am 29 years old and I’ve undergone herpes zoster below my chest area when i was 17yo and it was treated. Shingles are a painful, blistering skin rash due to the Herpes-Zoster virus, the virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles is caused by the Herpes-Zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chicken pox. The elimination is sugar, white flour, refined carbohydrates, coffee, alcohol, wheat and dairy is crucial for unburdening the immune system and liver so that your body can focus on fighting the virus. Application of natural vitamin E from a capsule directly to the sores eases the pain considerably and helps prevent scarring.
A vaccine can help people over 60 avoid shingles, butA only about 10 percent of the 50 million people who should get it actually have.
A million Americans get shingles every year, and many are left with pain that lasts months and years after the distinctive red rash goes away. It was really the most extreme pain I've ever had — more than childbirth because it was constant.
Avoiding The Disease The good news is there's a pretty good vaccine that can prevent shingles, and it has been available for four years. The upshot of all this is that patients may have to put up the money in advance and get reimbursed. The virus that causes shingles is the exact same one that causes chickenpox, called the varicella zoster virus. After one develops chickenpox, the virus remains in the person’s system even after recovery.
Focus on the diet on lots of fresh vegetables, garlic, fruit, beans, legumes, wild fish like salmon, free-range chicken, brown rice, coconut oil and flax seeds.
All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. Otherwise known as “herpes zoster”, the shingles virus is one that remains dormant after a person contracts and recovers from chickenpox.
In some people, the virus becomes reactivated and attacks the nerve pathways located on the skin. And the past few days i was busy cleaning furniture and due to dust my body got itchy and my chest got a rash and it becomes itchy until now and this area is where herpes zoster grew before.


The virus lives in the nerves, migrates from there to the skin and produces blister-like sores which are excruciatingly painful or itchy. The vaccine's maker, Merck and Co., has asked the Food and Drug Administration to lower eligibility to age 50. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium.
It is reactivated when the person experiences certain types of stressors or immune deficiencies, setting off the shingles disease.
The reason for the reactivation is yet to be fully determined but it has been found that immune deficiencies are a common factor in patients with shingles. If the person has had chicken pox early in life, the virus can live in the body, remaining dormant and showing up years later as shingles. This results in the rash which is known for following a particular pattern, such as appearing as a streak of rashes along one side of the torso. Avoid Tylenol-type  medications (acetaminaphen) — they have been shown to aggravate shingles. Even after the sores have healed,  severe pain can sometimes linger for months or even years. If it thaws out, it's no good, and it's sometimes hard to manage the whole transaction from pharmacy to vaccination in a half hour. Merck says it can't make enough of the vaccine's main ingredient — a live but weakened chickenpox virus.
Postherpetic neuralgia is the medical term for shingles pain that lasts for months and years after the rash goes away.
For those over 65, Medicare covers it under its new Plan D, butA reimbursement can be complicated.
A patient's attitude often is, "I'm not going to get this disease, so I'm not worried about it." A recent survey by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases found that only half of Americans know there's a shingles vaccine, and just 16 percent know it's recommended for everybody over age 60. Dupee confesses he hasn't gotten around to getting vaccinated himself — but he promises to rectify that.



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