Shingles is not rare. It can appear in anyone who has ever had chickenpox.
By age 50, 95% of adults would have had chickenpox, thus making them at risk for shingles.
Chances are almost one in three people will eventually develop this painful and debilitating disease.
Additionally, shingles strikes women more than men.
There is no method to predict an eruption of shingles. There is no telling when, in whom, and how severe the disease will manifest. However, certain factors contribute to the likelihood of shingles to appear. Answer the questions below to determine whether you are at risk for shingles.
* Are you 50 years old and above?
* Have you ever had chicken pox?
* Have you ever been exposed to someone with chicken pox?
The most relevant risk factor for the emergence of shingles is AGE among a population of adults who have had a history of chicken pox; the older one is, the greater the likelihood of developing shingles. Both shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus. In the case of shingles, the virus lies dormant until the body is weak enough for shingles to strike.
After age 50, the changes of having shingles, as well as its severity should one get it, increase significantly due to age-related decline in immunity. Age is the most common reason for the weakening of the body’s immune system. Upon reaching 50, there are approximately 4.6 cases of shingles per 100 individuals around the world.
Aside from age, certain medical conditions that compromise the body’s immunity are also contributory factors. Diabetes, hypertension, leukemia, lymphoma, and other cancers are just some of the illnesses that put an individual at greater risk for getting shingles. Additionally, cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy increase the risk of shingles in adults.
Immunosuppressive drugs like steroids and those prescribed after organ transplants have also been shown to heighten one's propensity for shingles.
The disease can't be passed from one person to another. However, the varicella-zoster virus can be transmitted from a person with active shingles to another who has never had chickenpox. The infection results in chickenpox rather than shingles. It most likely spreads via direct contact with fluid from the rash blisters.
Unlike chickenpox, a person can suffer from shingles more than once. Fortunately, this does not happen often.
Herpes zoster virus is spread through direct contact with fluid from the rash blisters caused by shingles.
A person with active shingles can spread the virus while the rash is in the blister-phase.
Shingles is not infectious before the appearance of blisters.
The appearance of crusts on the rash is an indication that the disease is no longer contagious.