Shingles is relatively uncommon in children, but interestingly, children who develop chicken pox after catching it from someone in their family are more likely to have more severe symptoms than if they contract it from someone outside of the family unit. The age of the child is related to the severity of the illness, so the older you get the more severe your outbreak is likely to be. Children with chicken pox are also at higher risk of developing middle ear infections and pneumonia, which can be very dangerous. Boys and males are at higher risk of developing chicken pox than females, and their outbreaks may also be more severe.
Pregnant women with chicken pox are also at higher risk of developing pneumonia, and developing the virus in the first trimester of pregnancy puts them at 1 to 2 per cent risk of passing it onto the developing baby and possible causing birth defects. Shingles is also rare in pregnant women.
Older adults are at highest risk of complications from shingles, and as with chicken pox in children, the older you are the more severe your shingles is likely to be. Age is proportionate to the length of the illness as well. Approximately 25 per cent of people with shingles are over the age of 60, and it is unusual to occur in people who are younger than 50. Women are at a higher risk for developing post herpetic neuralgia, a shingles complication, than men.
In most cases, post herpetic neuralgia will resolve in three months, but around 10 per cent of sufferers may still be experiencing symptoms like pain and discomfort up to a year after their symptoms have subsided.
Both chicken pox and shingles can be prevented by a vaccine, and both can be treated effectively if medication is administered early on in the infection. Affordable healthcare in Las Vegas can make medication and vaccination more cost-effective for both conditions.