This Virus Is on The Rise

This Virus Is on The Rise

Do you know someone in Nashville who had shingles - when they were in their 40s or 50s? Did it surprise you?

You’re not the only one taken aback.

Since the varicella vaccine was introduced 22 years ago, chickenpox has become a fairly rare occurrence. However, the shingles vaccine has been routinely recommended for all adults who are aged 60 years or older since 2008 - and what has happened since then?

Through careful reviewing of shingles cases between 2006 and 2013 by Erica Dommasch and colleagues, their study found that:

- Visits to the emergency room due to shingles increased by 15.2% from 2006 to 2013, driven by the 20-59 age year group and 11% in the 60+ year group

- Total costs for visits due to shingles increased across the board

These are no small numbers. Although many may think they don’t have to worry about shingles, it is actually a bigger issue than people realize and may evolve into a larger public health issue to worry about. In my Nashville dermatology practice, I am seeing patients typically in their 40s and 50s with shingles (like the study showed) - this age group was not vaccinated for chickenpox when they were children, and not they are not old enough to meet the recommended age for the shingles vaccine.

Enter: a major issue. When this age group is hit with shingles, it is a drastic setback for them! The pain they have to deal with as part of their rash is a real obstacle to working and participating in their normal work activities in Nashville, for even up to two weeks. Although the rash is something we can get under control fairly easily, there’s something else that leaves me worried: the prolonged pain associated with shingles. My Nashville dermatology practice is very sensitive to the fact that this could turn into a long-term issue for this population, so we follow them closely to ensure we control their pain and resolve it as quickly as possible.

Are you dealing with shingles rashes? Visit us at Skin Solutions Dermatology in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: JACC: Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Related Buzz: Two Shingles Vaccines Are Better Than One

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD