If you are one of the fortunate people who have never experienced the virus, you certainly never want to. It is an uncomfortable condition that manifests with stabbing pain and a burning sensation. After experiencing the virus once, you’re likely to do everything possible to never have it again. Which leads to the burning question: Can one get the virus multiple times?
Some studies found that 5% of patients who reported having the virus also reported a second occurrence within an average of eight years. Other studies show a much lower recurrence rate. This means that the virus can happen multiple times. The conclusion is that if you’ve had the virus, you are not free from experiencing it again.
What is Shingles?
It is a virus that is also known as herpes zoster. This viral infection generally produces a painful skin rash that frequently presents with blisters. It commonly affects older adults or those who have a weak immune system. This painful rash often appears on one side of the body or face, lasting for approximately two weeks or even one month.
The virus that causes shingles is the same type of virus as varicella-zoster, which causes chickenpox. If you have had chickenpox, the virus stays inside your nerves. Although it remains inactive, it can reactivate later on in life.
One of the challenging facts about having the virus is that the person can be left with chronic and debilitating pain that can remain even after the rash goes away. Another complication that occurs in 25% of the cases affects the eyes with vision loss, facial scars, and prolonged pain.
You Can Experience This Virus Multiple Times
Unfortunately for those who have experienced the virus, the bad news is that you can indeed get it more than once. One in three people will experience this virus at some point in their lives. Out of those people, women are especially susceptible.
Post-herpetic neuralgia is the medical term given to the severe pain a person experiences after having the virus. The longer this pain sticks around, the higher the chances of the disease recurring. This is why it is important to tackle the virus quickly with a shingles cream.
Researchers and specialists of infectious diseases found that it usually recurs on a different side of the body if the virus does manifest again. For instance, if the first rash appeared on the right side of the torso, it is more than likely to reappear on the left side.
The explanation behind the recurrence is due to the virus staying alive in your nerves after you’ve had chickenpox. Once the virus reactivates, the nerves that have been infected become inflamed, making the skin that reaches those nerves inflamed and manifesting in a rash.
The good news is that is it very uncommon for a person to get the disease again within three years. This time allows your immune system to become strong and be able to be better prepared for the virus.
What Prevents the Virus From Reactivating?
People have found a way to prevent the virus from appearing or recurring by getting vaccinated. In 2017, a new vaccine was approved by the FDA for adults 50 years and older. It was shown to be more than 90% effective.
In 2017, the FDA approved a new vaccine for adults 50 and older. This new vaccine is said to be over 90% effective. Some doctors recommend all adults 50 years and older receive the vaccine without hesitation. This especially makes sense as the main reason the virus manifests again is a compromised immune system.
Older adults already have a weaker immune system because of their age. In addition, they are also more likely to experience other medical conditions, medications, and chronic diseases that can also weaken the immune system.
Another consideration for the virus’ recurrence is to treat a new episode quickly and aggressively by using creams that are good for shingles. Within 48 hours of the first signs of its presence, take antiviral medications and an analgesic as quickly as possible. This lowers your chances of developing the debilitating pain associated with the condition. Effective shingles creams on the market today can help speed up healing. Treating the recurrence quickly with such products also heals the skin much faster, prevents scarring, and lowers the chances of developing postherpetic neuralgia.
Risk Factors for Recurrence
The virus can return even if you don’t have any of the following risk factors:
- You have an compromised immune system.
- You are a woman.
- Your initial episode of the virus lasted more than 30 days.
- You are 50 years of age or older.
It seems that the only way to truly protect yourself from getting the virus is by being vaccinated.
Some reports state that recurrences may be more frequent than previously reported. It is important to know that a recurrence can happen to anyone, no matter their current health. However, a more robust immune system and a quality choice of creams that are good for shingles, give you a better chance of not experiencing the virus again. If you do, it will be much shorter and less severe.
Stay Healthy and Happy
One of the best ways to prevent any type of ailment is to practice a lifestyle that promotes health and relaxation. These are the essential components of a healthy immune system. There is hope for those who experience this painful virus!