Friday, May 1, 2009

Fayette: The Chickenpox Shingles Connection

Tuesday, May 12, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
FREE to members and non-members
Anyone who has ever watched someone suffer through bouts of extremely painful Shingles, would probably tell you that they would be interested in knowing how they could avoid going through the same painful condition.

Shingles, also known as varicella zoster virus (VZV), is a leftover of the childhood chickenpox virus that many of us had. After recovery, the virus remains inactive in our sensory nerve endings for decades. In one out of three of us who had chickenpox, the VZV will reactivate and at the very least cause a painful rash that may last up to 4 weeks. At worst, VZV can cause post herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a chronic and often debilitating pain condition that can last months or even years. Other complications can involve the eye with attendant pain, facial scarring and loss of vision. All in all, this is a disease we would all seem better off to avoid.

We can now take active steps to prevent Shingles before they get us in their painful grip. In June of 2008, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the zoster vaccine for use among adults aged 60 and older to help prevent shingles. This is a one-time vaccination which can be taken to prevent future outbreaks, even if the patient has already experienced a shingles episode.

To learn more about this condition and ways you may be able to prevent it, join a free information session with Glenda Bryant, RN,MN, APRN-BC, from Fayette County Public Health Division, and Susan Landais, Fayette Senior Services Program and Operations Manager.

Pre-registration required no later than two days prior to class start-date.

Fayette Senior Services, 4 Center Drive, Fayetteville. 770-461-0813 -

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