Shingles Vaccine - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Shingles Vaccine

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Wendy Damonte
Channel 2 News

Harvey Salinger's life came to a halt 9 months ago all because of a common virus most of us carry. "They did a lot of tests and the doctor said, 'take off your shirt' and the doctor said, 'you have shingles' and I said, 'oh, what's that?'"

After not feeling well for several days, shingles presents itself with a rash over the thorax, chest wall or abdomin.  It can accure on the face and can cause permanent vision and hearing loss.  

Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. 

The single biggest risk factor for getting this is age.

Dr. Ritu Dixon is an internal medicine specialist at Reno Internal Medicine. "The incidence of shingles in people over 60 is 1 in 100 per year and at the age of 85 1 in 2 people have had shingles."

The biggest concern with shingles is the pain. Excruciating pain. And it can last for years.   Harvey couldn't leave his house for almost 9 months. "Anything that would touch my back or my side I would be screaming. I couldn't even sleep on cotton sheets. I had to pull out 2 comforters and put one on the top and one on the bottom to cover me."

But there is a way to avoid pain like Harvey's. A shingles vaccine is approved for people over the age of 60. In fact, Dr. Dixon recommends it to all of her patients in that age category. 

If you have questions concerning this vaccine, call my Ask the Doctor segment Monday night starting at 5pm. The number is 858-2222.

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