Lake Mary Physicians Offering Shingles Vaccine

 

What is shingles?

Shingles is a painful skin rash, often with blisters. It is also called Herpes Zoster or just Zoster.Verify with your Lake Mary Physicians if this vaccine is suitable for you. A shingles rash usually appears on one side of the face or body and lasts from 2 to 4 weeks. Its main symptom is pain, which can be quite severe. Other symptoms of shingles can include fever, headache, chills, and upset stomach. Very rarely, a shingles infection can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death. For about one person in five, severe pain can continue even after the rash clears up. This is called post-herpetic neuralgia.

Shingles is caused by the Varicella Zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Only someone who has had chickenpox, or rarely, has gotten chickenpox vaccine, can get shingles. The virus stays in your body, and can cause shingles many years later.

You can’t catch shingles from another person with shingles. However, a person who has never had chickenpox (or chickenpox vaccine) could get chickenpox from someone with shingles. This is not very common.

Shingles is far more common in people 50 and older than in younger people. It is also more common in people whose immune systems are weakened because of a disease such as cancer, or drugs such as steroids or chemotherapy. At least 1 million people a year in the United States get shingles.

Shingles vaccine:

A vaccine for shingles was licensed in 2006. In clinical trials, the vaccine reduced the risk of shingles by 50%. It can also reduce pain in people who still get shingles after being vaccinated. The shingles vaccine is a live vaccine given as a single injection, usually in the upper arm. CDC recommends Zostavax for use in people 60 years old and older to prevent shingles.

Who should get the shingles vaccine? If I’ve already had shingles, should I get the vaccine so I don’t get shingles again?

Whether they’ve had shingles or not, adults age 60 and older should get the shingles vaccine (Zostavax), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although the vaccine is also approved for use in people ages 50 to 59 years, the CDC isn’t recommending the shingles vaccine until you reach age 60. This is a one-time vaccination. There is no maximum age for getting the shingles vaccine. Call your Lake Mary Physicians today to schedule your appointment.

The shingles vaccine protects your body from reactivation of a virus — the chickenpox (varicella-zoster) virus — that most people are exposed to during childhood. When you recover from chickenpox, the virus stays latent in your body. For unknown reasons, though, the latent virus sometimes gets reactivated years later, causing shingles. The shingles vaccine prevents this reactivation.

The shingles vaccine isn’t fail-safe; some people develop shingles despite vaccination. Even when it fails to suppress the virus completely, however, the shingles vaccine may reduce the severity and duration of shingles. Although there’s hope that the vaccine will reduce your risk of severe, lingering pain after shingles (postherpetic neuralgia), studies haven’t yet found strong evidence of that effect.

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Sources:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

www.mayoclinic.com

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Pertussis Information from Lake Mary Primary Care Doctors

 

Pertussis (whooping cough) is caused by highly contagious bacteria that live in the mouth, throat and nose of an infected person. It is spread to others during coughing or sneezing or through direct contact with discharges from the nose or throat of the infected person. If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms contact your primary care doctor in Lake Mary, FL

Pertussis can cause serious illness in infants, children and adults. The disease usually starts with cold-like symptoms and maybe a mild cough or fever. After 1 to 2 weeks, severe coughing can begin. Unlike the common cold, pertussis can become a series of coughing fits that continues for weeks.

Pertussis can cause violent and rapid coughing, over and over, until the air is gone from the lungs and you are forced to inhale with a loud “whooping” sound. This extreme coughing can cause you to throw up and be very tired. The “whoop” is often not there and the infection is generally milder (less severe) in teens and adults, especially those who have been vaccinated.

Because pertussis in its early stages appears to be nothing more than the common cold, it is often not suspected or diagnosed until the more severe symptoms appear. Infected people are most contagious up to about 2 weeks after the cough begins. Antibiotics may shorten the amount of time someone is contagious.

Pertussis primarily affects children less than 10 years old, but the number and proportion of cases involving adults have increased over the last decade. In the United States 50% of reported cases have involved people 10 years of age and older. In addition, the disease appears to be as contagious among adults as it is among no vaccinated children. The increasing incidence and demographic shift mean that adults and adolescents are major reservoirs of pertussis in the community. This is because immunity following vaccination declines beginning at about 5 years of age.

Who should get Tdap vaccine?

The CDC recommends that adults 19 to 64 years of age (and adolescents 11 to 18 years of age) receive a single dose of Tdap in place of the next Td (tetanus-diphtheria) booster recommended for all adults and adolescents. In addition, the CDC has issued recommendations for specific adult populations to have the dose of Tdap before the usual 10 year interval after the last booster dose of Td. The Tdap is available at your Lake Mary primary care doctors office.

  • Adults who have or who anticipate having close contact with infants younger than 12 months of age. (e.g. Parents, grandparents younger than 65 years of age, children providers, healthcare workers)
  •  Healthcare personnel in hospitals or ambulatory care settings who have direct patient contact. Priority is given to vaccination of workers in direct contact with infants younger than 12 months of age.
  •  Pregnant women after delivery, before discharge from the hospital or birthing center.

 

Sources:

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Medscape Medical News

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Lake Mary Doctor Tips – 5 Ways to Prevent the Flu

 

With flu season just around the corner, there are a few things that you can be doing to keep yourself from being down for the count. Here are five defensive steps you can take to keep the flu virus from affecting you and your family.

1. Get the Flu-Shot

Lake Mary doctors suggest that you get your flu-shot early. Flu season can start as early as October, so it is important that you pay attention to when the vaccine becomes available to the public. Most years, the vaccine will come out in August or September and will be available until all are distributed. The vaccine is especially recommended to those that may have a high risk of complications if they contract the flu – including people over 65, those with certain medical conditions (i.e. asthma, chronic lung disease), and women that are pregnant.

2. Sleep

Sleep is the best way to give your body the energy it needs to fight off any sickness. If you lack sleep, your immune system will lack the energy it needs to fight off the beginning stages of the flu. You want to make to that you give your body all the ammo it can get to keep away the virus. Our Lake Mary doctor recommends about 8 hours of sleep a night for the average person, but if you start feeling run down your body may need more.

3. Wash Your Hands

Your entire life you have been told to wash your hands to keep yourself from getting sick. This is because it has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to keep unwanted germs from entering your body. It is also important to clean anything that your hands touch on a regular basis (i.e. cell phones, door knobs, keyboards). What a better defense from the flu, than to kill the germs before they even have a chance to get into your system.

4. Work Out

Exercise can give your immune system the extra boost that it needs to fight off the flu. Studies show that people who work out regularly have fewer colds than people who do not. Exercise also allows you to release stress, which is key to making sure that your body is its best shape possible to fight off colds.

5. Eat Well

If you do not give your body the right fuel, it will not function well. Make sure that you are eating foods with the vitamins that your body needs. A good way to do this is by making sure you have a lot of color in your diet. Bright colored foods indicate antioxidants that can help your body prepare against flu season. Making sure you eat your fruits and vegetables can help to keep you healthy during this upcoming flu season.

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SunState Medical Associates located at 758 North Sun Drive #104 , Lake Mary, FL . Reviewed by 21 customers rated: 4 / 5