Shingles: 15 Little-Known Facts About the Virus (Part 2)

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medicaldaily.com

Not too long ago, we brought you the first part of this list of facts about shingles, the uncomfortable virus that 25% of people who have had chickenpox contract later in life. We learned that it can affect anyone, no matter what age. Here’s part two of the article.

Number Eight: Exclusive Shingles Vaccines

There has been a vaccine developed to help prevent shingles, and it’s called Zostavax. The bad news is, it’s only for people 60 years or older.

Number Seven: It’s a Nerve Infection as Well as a Skin Infection

Shingles are typically thought of as an itchy rash or cluster of blisters. While this is true, it’s little known that the virus also attacks the nerve underneath the skin, which is what causes the severe pain some people experience.

Number Six: It Only Appears on One Side of the Body

The rash that results from the virus most often appears around the midsection or torso. Typically it does not spread past the center line of the body.

Number Five: Uniquely Contagious

If someone has shingles, they cannot give them to someone else. However, a person with the virus can transmit it to another person who is not immune, which would cause chickenpox.

Number Four: Transmission Can Only Happen From Blister Fluid

Touching someone is not enough to spread this illness. The only way you can get it is to come into contact with the actual fluid from their rash. For this reason, covering these areas up is advised.

Number Three: Some Sufferers Need Morphine

Typically, over-the-counter medication or calamine lotions are enough for people with the virus. In severe cases, some people may need something stronger, and morphine being prescribed is not unheard of.

Number Two: Why Is it Called Shingles?

Since the rashes usually appear around the midsection of the body, it was named after the Latin word Cingulum, which means “girdle” or “belt.” This later morphed into the word “shingles.”

Number One: Steroids Are Prescribed for Short-Term Pain Relief

However, they don’t show much promise for helping long term pain issues. Hopefully, you learned a thing or two from the second half of our article about shingles. Thanks for reading!

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