What's Going Around

Family Nurse Practitioner Linda Eckerson at McLaren Greater Lansing-DeWitt Family Medicine in DeWitt is treating patients with shingles this week.

Shingles is an outbreak of painful, burning blisters or a rash that's caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox.

Symptoms include: burning or tingling pain, numbness, or itch in one spot or on one side of the body, as well as a rash of fluid-filled blisters in one spot or on one side of the body.

Fatigue, headache and a low-grade temperature are also symptoms.

Anyone with shingles should see a doctor for antiviral medicine. He or she may also prescribe steroids, pain medications and topical medications.

There is a vaccination available for adults 50 and older who have had chicken pox. The vaccination can prevent shingles or at least decrease the severity and complications of shingles.

Someone with a shingles rash can pass the virus to someone else, usually a child who has never had chicken pox, and the child will develop chicken pox, not shingles.

A person with chicken pox cannot give shingles to someone else.


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