One in three Taiwanese can develop shingles.recommend vaccination

  • Lee Ichia / staff reporter

About a third of Taiwanese are likely to develop shingles, also known as shingles, in their lifetime, and about half of those over the age of 50 can develop postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). There is a nature. Complications of pain, Taiwan’s Immunization Vision and Strategy (TIVS) said Wednesday.

The group encourages people to get vaccinated against shingles.

Shingles is caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (the same virus that causes chickenpox) and often occurs when the immune system is weakened.

Photo: Lee I-chia, Taipei Times

According to the study, 32.2% of Taiwanese are likely to develop shingles, said pediatrics and infectious disease expert Li Bingying, honorary president of TIVS.

Shingles can occur in people of all ages, and the risk increases with age, he said.

After people catch chickenpox and recover from the disease, the virus remains in the body, but mostly dormant in the dorsal root ganglia or spinal nerve roots, Lee says.

When the virus reactivates, it travels along nerves to the skin, causing itching, painful rashes, and blisters.

Symptoms may also include tingling, burning, stabbing neuralgia, and fatigue, he said.

People over the age of 50, people who have had stem cell or bone marrow transplants, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and people with compromised immune systems are at increased risk of getting shingles.

Most people recover from shingles within a few weeks, with or without antiviral treatment, but for some people, especially those with weakened immune systems, the disease damages nerve fibers and It can lead to postherpetic neuralgia after the rash and blisters have cleared.

Severe neuralgia from postherpetic neuralgia can significantly impair sleep and quality of life, he added.

Zoster symptoms usually appear on one side of the body, but they can also spread to the face and affect a person’s vision, said Zhi-Rong Chen, a professor and attending physician at the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Linguchi Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. said.and hearing.

“More than 50 percent of people with shingles over the age of 50 may suffer from PHN,” he said, with some describing the pain as similar to childbirth, but a few. It can last for months or even years.

Because antiviral drugs have limited efficacy for treating shingles and the disease can lead to postherpetic neuralgia, people over age 50 should be vaccinated against shingles and PHN. is a better option.

There are two types of herpes zoster vaccines: live attenuated vaccines and non-live virus recombinant vaccines.

The live attenuated vaccine is similar to the varicella vaccine for chickenpox but is at least 14 times more concentrated and can reduce the chance of developing shingles by about 50%.

However, that vaccine is no longer available in the United States.

The new recombinant vaccine has proven to be more than 90% effective in preventing shingles and about 80% effective against postherpetic neuralgia, he said.

Although shingles is rarely life-threatening and non-live viral recombinant vaccines are not yet covered by the National Health Insurance, people over the age of 50 and those at high risk of contracting the disease may reduce their risk of persistence. Vaccination should be considered because of postherpetic neuralgia pain.

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