Health Watch - Seniors: Shingles

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about health issues that affect older adults. The virus that causes chickenpox can strike again later in life, causing the misery of shingles in seniors. Now you may be able to protect yourself from shingles.

Shingles is a blistering, painful rash that affects more than a million Americans each year. There’s now a vaccine that can help prevent shingles flare-ups in adults over 60. The vaccine doesn’t cure or treat active shingles cases, but it strengthens the body’s immunity to the chickenpox virus that causes the problem so the virus doesn’t reactivate. Dr. Craig Rubin, chief of geriatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says if you’ve had a recent case of shingles, you should talk to your doctor to see if the vaccine might help you avoid future bouts with the virus.

Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/geriatrics to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in geriatrics.

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September 2009


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