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Shingles Part 2 (Teacher: Michael)

There are 31 pairs of nerves coming out of either side of spinal cord and any one of them can be affected. Red spots turn into painful blisters and are confined to one nerve on one side of body.

The blisters burst and scab, lasting between one and three weeks. Once scabs fall off, scars can last for weeks. However, pain lasts for months, maybe as long as two years. It is what doctors call intractable pain, very resistant to painkillers.

Although shingles can affect every age group, it is worst in elderly. But adults with shingles can give chickenpox to children who have not had disease since virus is active in blisters, which are infectious until they have dried and healed.

The most serious sort is herpes opthalmicus, involving eye nerve. This can spread from one half of forehead and cause ulcer on cornea. This type of shingles needs supervision not only of your GP, but also of consultant opthalmic surgeon to prevent scarring which could affect your vision.

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