Shingles (Herpes Zoster) (cont.)
Steven Doerr, MD
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
In this Article
- Shingles (herpes zoster) facts
- What is shingles? What does shingles look like?
- What causes shingles?
- What are risk factors for shingles?
- What is the contagious period for shingles?
- What are shingles symptoms and signs?
- How is shingles diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for shingles?
- Are there any home remedies for shingles?
- What is the duration of a shingles outbreak?
- What are complications of shingles?
- What can be done for recurrent shingles?
- What is the prognosis of shingles?
- Is it possible to prevent shingles with a vaccine?
- Test Your IQ: Take the Shingles Quiz
- Pictures of Shingles - Slideshow
- Pictures of Shingles
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster) FAQs
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
Is it possible to prevent shingles with a vaccine?
In 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a shingles vaccine (Zostavax). Currently, the FDA has approved its use for individuals age 50 years and older, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended its use for individuals age 60 years and older. It is a live attenuated vaccine that boosts the immune system and only needs to be administered one time. Ongoing studies are underway to determine how long the vaccine confers protection. It has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing shingles by about 60%, as well as reducing the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia by approximately 66%.
The shingles vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy or for those with weakened immune systems from disease or immunosuppressive medications, as it is a live vaccine. It is also not recommended for cases of active shingles or for those who have already developed postherpetic neuralgia. However, even if you have had shingles in the past, the vaccine can still be administered to help prevent future recurrent shingles.
The vaccination can be administered at a pharmacy or at your doctor's office. If you are vaccinated with the shingles vaccine, it is safe to be around children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised individuals, as there are no documented cases of people getting chickenpox from a recently vaccinated person.
Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Shingles (Herpes Zoster)." <http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/>. May 18, 2012.
United States. NIHSeniorHealth. "Shingles." <http://nihseniorhealth.gov/shingles/aboutshingles/01.html>.
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