Shingles Facts and Shenanigans: Part 1 of 2

I get cranky whenever a barrage of advertising comes out trying to sell us a new illness. Lately you may have seen ads telling you “If you’ve ever had chickenpox, you’re at risk for Shingles.” Were you worried about shingles before Merck started a marketing campaign for shingles vaccinations recently? Probably not.

Shingles is not a new illness. The only thing new here is that the FDA approved a new vaccination for it in 2011.

The varicella virus has been around for eons. Chimps and gorillas get it, too. It is stable; the number of cases reported is not on the increase. According to the Center for Disease Control, “People who have medical conditions that keep their immune systems from working properly, such as certain cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and people who receive immunosuppressive drugs, such as steroids and drugs given after organ transplantation are…at greater risk of getting shingles.” Unfortunately, prescribing information for the vacination warns against these people being given the vaccination for the very reason that it may sicken them. It also warns that “transmission of vaccine virus may occur between vaccinees and susceptible constacts.” In other words, if your co-worker gets the vaccination and your immune system is in a weakened state, you can get shingles from him.

Still want that shingles shot? It costs about $200.00 and is effective 51% of the time. You may get shingles in spite of the vaccination, but your symptoms will last an average of 20 days, compared to 22 days for the non-vaccinated people who are afflicted.

My advice to you is to do your best to stay in a state of good health. See your chiropractor to remove stress from the body. Since shingles is a condition that resides in the nerve tissue, it only makes sense to make sure your spine is in good shape. Get your rest, exercise, eat whole foods, and think about supplementing with herbs to strengthen your immune system the natural way. To me, the shingles vaccination looks like a shot of trouble.

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