30% of Colombians will suffer from ‘shingles’ or Herpes Zoster at some point in their lives
The complication of this disease not only generates intense pains and extensive blisters on the skin but it can also lead to death.
Herpes Zoster, popularly known as “shingles”, is a disease caused by the reactivation of varicella zoster virus , the same virus that causes chicken pox, which produces extensive painful ring-shaped blisters on the skin along the path of a nerve. People who have had chickenpox are at risk for this disease.
Herpes Zoster annually affects more than 1 million people in the United States, the figure in Colombia is unknown, since not all cases are reported, but it is estimated that one in three people will suffer from “shingles” at some point in their lives. lifetime. It is more likely to suffer with increasing age and it is not possible to predict its duration or intensity. 60 and 70% of cases are usually from 50 years of age.
The symptoms of the Herpes Zoster are multiple. More than 95% of people experience acute pain in the affected skin and can last days, months or even years, altering and limiting daily activities affecting the quality of life.
In most patients between 8 and 30% of the cases the pain becomes chronic, generating a condition known as ‘ post-herpetic neuralgia’ , one of the most common complications of the disease. Other consequences of this are pneumonia, visual disturbances, loss of hearing and vision, skin infection and muscle weakness.
However, there is the possibility of preventing Herpes Zoster, post-herpetic neuralgia and the reduction of associated acute and chronic pain.
In Colombia, it was recently approved and an effective vaccine for the virus and its complications is available. This should be applied in people over 50 years as a single dose.
Dr. José Roberto Jurado, Compensar internist doctor, states that this is a disease that was underestimated, that has accompanied the population through history, most of us had to do with chickenpox and although we are accustomed to living with the ‘shingles’ and suffer its consequences, we have the opportunity to prevent it with vaccination.