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What is it?

This virus, known much more commonly as chickenpox, is what is also
behind a complication we can experience much later on in life called

What causes shingles?

If you have had chickenpox in the past, your body’s immune system is
able to prevent virus from infecting you again, and it is locked
away in your body.

As we get older, our immune system may not work as
well as before, allowing the virus to ‘wake up’ and start infecting
us again. This time, the virus travels down our nerves towards the
skin, resulting in a rash that can be excruciatingly painful.

The bottom line: If you have had chickenpox in the past, you may be at
risk for Shingles.

The only problem is that there is no way to predict if people who have had
chickenpox will develop shingles.


Approximately 95% of Canadians have had chickenpox and are therefore at risk for shingles.

This risk increases as we get older.

In Canada, it is estimated that nearly 1 in 3 people will develop shingles in their lifetime.

By age 85, 1 out of 2 will have had shingles.


What are the complications of shingles?

The most common complication of shingles is severe pain, which, for
most people, goes away as the rash heals. For some, however, this pain
can last for months, rarely more than a year, even after the rash
heals. This pain is difficult to control, and can interfere with
normal day to day activities. Other complications include scarring,
infection, hearing or vision problems, muscle paralysis and numbness.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent shingles?

Until recently, there was nothing to decrease the risk of shingles in
individuals who have had chicken pox. Currently, there is a vaccine
available that has been shown to cut the chances of getting shingles
by 51% compared to those who were not vaccinated. Furthermore, it has
been shown that the vaccine can reduce the chance of having long
lasting pain from shingles by 67%.


This vaccine is currently available to patients of Dr. Tytus, by special order, for $200, cash or cheque only.

A receipt will be issued to patients.

Who should get this vaccine?

If you’ve had chickenpox in the past, and are over 60 years of age,
and interested in reducing your risk of having shingles, you are
eligible to receive this vaccine.

You should not receive this vaccine if you are allergic to any part of it, including gelatin or neomycin;
have a blood disorder or any type of cancer that weakens your immune system;

have been told by your doctor that you have a weakened immune system as a result of a disease, medications, or other treatment; have untreated tuberculosis infection;

are pregnant.

How can I sign up to receive the vaccine?

You can contact Dr. Tytus’ office by:

phone @ 905-545-1376

email at
signing up in person at the office reception desk.


Please only sign up in one place for your special order.

Posted on October 19, 2009 in Office Announcements

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