What’s going around: Shingles

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(WKOW) — Statistics show about one in three Americans will get shingles at some point in life.

The risk is greater for people over 60 years old, but even children can get them. Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for shingles.

Nurse Kelly Hesseling at the Monroe Clinic has been seeing an uptick in shingles cases. She says the most obvious symptom is a painful, blistering rash that develops on one side of your face or body. Before you get the rash, you usually have pain or tingling where the rash is going to develop.

Hesseling says other symptoms include a fever, headache, chills and an upset stomach.

To treat shingles, use an antiviral medication, the sooner the better says Hesseling.  You can also use pain medication, wet compresses, calamine lotion and oatmeal baths.

To prevent shingles, the CDC recommends the shingles vaccine for everyone 50 years and older.  If your kids have not received the chickenpox vaccine, the CDC also recommends that.

Shingles cannot be contracted from person to person.  However, the virus can be spread to someone who has never had chickenpox or the vaccine, and then that person would get chickenpox but not shingles.

Shingles are contracted when the dormant virus that caused chickenpox wakes up and activates in your system years later.

Caroline Bach

Caroline Bach

Anchor, Wake Up Wisconsin Weekend

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