Herpes Zoster is also known in Australia as Shingles, it is one of the viral diseases that affect a specific area of the human body. The person will suffer from rash in the affected area. This type of rash is usually painful since it is directly connected to the affected nerves.
People who suffer from Herpes Zoster previously also suffered from chickenpox. Both diseases are caused by varicella zoster virus. Herpes Zoster is curable, treatments are effective, but there are also cases where people lose their lives if they do not use proper medication.
This type of virus does not usually cause deaths. But if people do not use proper treatment, the long-term effects of herpes zoster can cause severe damage to the central nervous system.
Is Herpes Zoster common in Australia?
The government recently revealed important statistics about Herpres Zoster. In 2016, between 2,500 and 2,677 cases of herpes zoster have been reported in the country’s hospitals. Most cases are in people over 50 years old.
The vaccination program has slowed the virus a bit in the country. But it is still considered a common disease among people over 50 or 60 years old. The vaccination program focuses on people 70 years of age or older.
To date, only 560 cases of this virus are being reported per 100,000 inhabitants per year. But most cases are located in patients older than 50 years.
Deaths caused by Herpes Zoster in Australia
The vaccine to prevent herpes zoster is not as effective in people over 80 years. In this way the main fatalities of the virus are people 80 years of age or older. In 2016, 27 deaths from shingles were reported. Between 1997 and 2016 there were 438 deaths due to this disease. The majority of these deaths (365) were in people over 80 years.
The report does not indicate any type of death in minors or persons under 30 years of age. The report only indicates people between 50 and 80 years of age. Most of the deaths were in hospitals under treatment. The report is 4 years old but its the latest report made by authorities in the country. The department of hell of Australia is in charge of the results of this report.
How do you get infected with Herpes Zoster
The main cause of herpes zoster is having suffered chickenpox in previous years. The other cause is when a person is in contact with another person infected with the virus. If this person has contact with the skin of the person with shingles, the risk of infection is 90% or more.
The symptoms of herpes zoster are acute headache, itching, pain when scratching a specific area of the body. Other symptoms that are alert about herpes zoster are exhaustion and pain in the eyes.
The best treatment and cure for Herpes Zoster
In Australia the most common treatment for herpes zoster is famvir 250mg. Doctors usually recommend three doses a day, but if the case is more severe the dose can reach up to 1000mg every day. Another similar drug for the treatment of this virus is valacyclovir.
For patients over 70 years with severe cases of herpes zoster, the most recommended by doctors is to use three intravenous doses of acyclovir 10mg per day. This type of dose is reserved for patients more severe damage caused by the virus to the nervous system.
Another important point during the treatment of this disease is hydration
The patient must remain well hydrated and avoid breaking the areas affected by the virus with the nails. Hydration protects the kidneys and dry skin.
To treat pain caused by shingles, doctors recommend paracetamol but only once a day
If the pain is very acute, the pain treatment can be changed to prednisone with a dose of 50mg for seven days. It is not advisable to consume any type of opioids only in case they are really necessary.
The virus is curable and the highest number of deaths is seen only in people with nervous system problems caused by other diseases. The best way to prevent the spread of this virus is to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
The name of the vaccine to prevent herpes zoster is Zostavax
This vaccine is available in most hospitals in Australia. People can also acquire with their family doctor and in any vaccination campaigns directed by the government.