“The pain of shingles can be debilitating and is not easily treated,” Dr. Barbara Yawn, a professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, tells Reuters Health by email.
The pain and itching of shingles can be so bad that people may not be able to do their usual activities, says Yawn, who was not involved in the study.
“In the oldest group, the disability can be so marked that people are unable to provide their own care and become dehydrated and may end up in the hospital because they cannot even get up to get a drink due to the pain,” Yawn adds.
“Shingles is a preventable disease that can have adverse effects on your quality of life,” Yawn says. “It is better to prevent shingles than try to treat after it has occurred.”
“Herpes zoster is a disease that a vaccine may help to prevent, yet the vaccination rate remains low,” Zhang says. “It is imperative that people talk with their physician or pharmacist to determine if they are eligible for vaccination against herpes zoster.”
- Zhang D, Johnson K, Newransky C, et al. Herpes zoster vaccine coverage in older adults in the U.S., 2007–2013. Am J Prev Med. 2016 Oct 26.