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Experimental Shingles Vaccine Proves Effective in Nationwide Study

Armen Hareyan's picture

Skin Care and Shingles

Stronger version of chickenpox vaccine cuts incidence and severity of shingles in older adults

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In one of the largest adult vaccine clinical trials ever, researchers have found that an experimental vaccine against shingles (zoster vaccine) prevented about half of cases of shingles, a painful nerve and skin infection, and dramatically reduced its severity and complications in vaccinated persons who got the disease. The findings appear in the June 2 issue of "The New England Journal of Medicine."

The Shingles Prevention Study, conducted over 5



One of the biggest challenges for me as a Shingles sufferer is not being able to find information about what causes flare-ups. I obviously had chicken pox as a child. However from the age of 26, I have had repetitive unpredictable outbreaks of at times very painful shingles and I am now almost 41. I can say with confidence that in that 15 yrs I have had a shingles outbreak at least every second month. They vary in size from 1 little blister and a tiny bit of redness, to painful swellings that follow nerve and skin discomfort, leading to an area of redness at least the size of a walnut, followed by blistering, sometimes only a few larger blisters, oftentimes many little blisters. The itch and nerve irritation are insane. What bothers me is that even when I am not feeling stressed (and yes, I am prone to not managing or coping with excessive stress), I get outbreaks. My shingles always occur on the left buttock, across all quadrants of the buttock cheek and sometimes on the side of the hip. (Only once following a life experience of extreme stress did I have a very painful and unusual outbreak of one blister on my lower belly, on the right, and because I had never had them in the region before and because the way the blister took so long to come to the surface I at first didn't recognise it as shingles, and then I got PHN for the first time... with bladder pain, lasting up to 6 weeks. Now, that frightened me into looking into shingles, which I knew was a herpes virus, and learned for the first time then - some 13 yrs after having shingles exactly how dangerous this little monster is...) The thing that bothers me most is that I get shingles caused by exercise. Approx 6 mnths after my first outbreak of shingles - where I had 3 huge welts and the follow-up blistering on my buttock - I was involved in a household accident where I tripped and fell onto some furniture, fracturing my sternun, dislocating several ribs, collarbone, and scoring whiplash in the episode, along with twisted pelvis. I have not been able to engage in long term strenuous exercise since the accident because my immune system seems to go into breakdown.... the only time this has been different was as recent as the last 18 months, where I attended a gym on a rehab program to see if that along with very strict chiropractic could help me physically develop strength all these years after the injury. It had never been properly diagnosed and therefore no proper management was ever offered to me before this. It frustrates me because I am, in my mind and head and thoughts and desires, an exercise junkie - I love cycling, walking, running/jogging, and would do a gym workout 5 days a week if I could. Thanks to the repercussions of the injury I was banned from running by my chiropractor who by the way was the only practitioner who ever believed he could get me to last at a gym beyond the 3 months that I was ever able to, prior to seeing him. With his expert care I was able to last 18 months before I had to move away from the city. HOW can I ever return to health and fitness when I am plagued by recurrent shingles caused by exercise... what am I not doing re my immune system? I eat well, take supplements, eat raw garlic, have very little sugar, no junk food, and as a vegetarian wonder if there is something missing in my diet. Any help would be sooooooo welcomed, please,. I am desperate. Thanks Ms TM