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Sunday, March 24, 2024

"Sabi Nila," The Truth About Shingles

Shingles is a disease that nobody seems to be aware of OR nobody wants to talk about. This disease is often overlooked and can lead to serious complications if not treated properly. The risk of shingles sharply increases by the age of 50 years old

GSK, a global bio-pharmaceutical company and health experts, have joined forces to launch the nationwide awareness campaign to educate the public about the risks, impact, and prevention of shingles. 

Shingles, a.k.a. Herpes Zoster, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that is responsible for chickenpox. Those who have been exposed to the chickenpox virus may develop shingles, as the virus lies dormant in the nerve tissue and can reactivate years later. 

"Sabi Nila," The Truth About Shingles campaign, aims to provide information about how shingles can affect life and the importance of consulting a doctor for disease prevention. The campaign also aims to correct misconceptions and provide reliable information from healthcare professionals and those who experienced shingles. 

Shingles causes a painful skin rash that often blisters and scabs over in 10-15 days. This may look like a simple case of rash or pimple that got infected so those who suffer from it will simply go to a dermatologist or just buy ointment to treat rash / pimples. It is also worth noting that shingles usually appear on one side of the face or forehead, shoulder, breast, back, or back of knees. It doesn't really spread but it can lead to serious complications especially if the patient is above fifty years old. 

Studies show that about 30% of patients with shingles will experience long-term nerve pain. One out of four patients with shingles can get infected near the eye which may lead to blindness in some cases. 

"Shingles is not just an ordinary rash. It has complications that can lead to higher morbidity. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and it can also effect your vision," said Dr. Rontgene Solante. "A characteristic of shingles is that may tumubo na mga rashes in one side of the body lang, but the more importance characteristic is- ito ay napakasakit. It's very uncomfortable to the point na yung iba, nahirapan silang mag damit, nahihirapan sila gawin housework nila, daily chores nila because of the severe pain."

Guests during the launch includes Karen Davila, a well-known journalist who suffered from shingles. "I had it twice. I felt depressed, scared, and honestly ashamed. I would not want anybody to experience that."

An alarming misconception about shingles is that it is a sexually transmitted disease. "Hindi sexually transmitted ang shingles because the shingles virus is the same virus that causes chickenpox," explained Dr. Solante. "When you get older, your immune system goes down and that's when the chickenpox virus reactivates and can become shingles."

It is very important to consult a healthcare professional especially if you have a suspicious and rash in one part of your body. Those who are at risk are 50 or older and those with existing health problem like diabetes. In some cases, it can also appear on persons younger than 50, and even if the individual is in a good shape. 

To know more about shingles, visit -- What Is Shingles?  


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