What's Going Around - 3/21

By: Ruth Showalter Email
By: Ruth Showalter Email

March 21, 2011

This week, Doctor Joseph Evans at Martha Jefferson Internal Medicine shares information on what looks like a rash and tips on adding berries to your diet.

Dr. Evans says Herpes Zoster, commonly known as Shingles, is what's going around Central Virginia. It is a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters in a limited area on one side of the body, often in a stripe. Anyone who has recovered from chickenpox may develop shingles; even children can get shingles.

Symptoms include throbbing or burning, oversensitive skin and a red bumpy rash that develops into blisters. Seventy-five percent of people affected will feel pain one to two weeks prior to developing a rash. Once the rash starts to show it will scab over and then disappear after about ten days.

Dr. Evans says the Shingles vaccine is available to everyone and will help reduce the risk of developing the disease by 50 percent. While it is not contagious, Shingles can spread chickenpox to non-vaccinated infants.

Not only are we checking on common illnesses, we're also keeping track of important reminders. Dr. Evans is encouraging everyone to be up to date on your infant shots and to remember Spring and Summer camp physicals for your children.

He also recommends adding berries to your morning bowl of cereal. Not only do they add sweetness, they are also loaded with antioxidants.

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