How Can I Prevent Viral Pneumonia
To prevent the transmission of pneumonia, you must
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. In public places, use sanitizers to disinfect your hands before eating anything.
- Get a flu vaccine at the beginning of winter or the rainy season to protect you from certain strains of viruses.
- Keep your distance from people who are sick and who are coughing and sneezing.
- Use a mask to prevent infected droplets from entering your body.
- Do not touch your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth when outside.
How Long Do Vaccinations Last
The list below outlines the usual duration of protection once the vaccination course is complete. For some vaccines, the duration of protection is uncertain.
- Chickenpox long-term
- Cholera – up to 2 years
- Diphtheria – 10 years
- Flu vaccine – up to 1 year
- Hepatitis A – Probable lifetime protection
- Hepatitis B – Lifetime
- Japanese B Encephalitis – 2 years to , depending on the vaccine used
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella – Life time
- Meningitis – new conjugate vaccines give up to 5 years protection
- Pneumonia – > 5 years, probably life time
- Polio booster – Life time
- Rabies – Immune memory persists for life booster doses needed only
- Tetanus – 5-10 years
How Does The Pneumonia Vaccine Work
Many people experience pain at the injection site after getting the pneumonia vaccine. The pain you are experiencing is usually soreness of the muscle where the injection was given. Injection site pain and most other common side effects are actually a good sign it indicates that your body is starting to build immunity against pneumococcal diseases.
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How Can I Take Care Of Myself
- Take a pain-relief medicine such as acetaminophen. Take other medicine as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Put cool, moist washcloths on the rash.
- Rest in bed during the early stages if you have fever and other symptoms.
- Try not to let clothing or bed linens rub against the rash and irritate it.
- You develop worsening pain or fever.
- You develop a severe headache, stiff neck, hearing loss, or changes in your ability to think.
- The blisters show signs of bacterial infection, such as increasing pain or redness, or milky yellow drainage from the blister sites.
- The blisters are close to the eyes or you have pain in your eyes or trouble seeing.
- You have trouble walking.
Does The Tetanus Vaccine Cause Autism
The tetanus vaccine does not cause autism.
While people express concerns about the potential for serious side effects from vaccines, this worry may come partly from misinformation. As the United States Department of Health and Human Services state, research shows vaccines do not lead to autism.
Medical researchers monitor vaccines constantly, and any evidence that linked vaccinations to severe disabilities or other health problems would lead to medical authorities taking swift safety measures.
There are several different types of tetanus shots available. Producers often package the tetanus shot with other similar vaccines, so that it works to prevent more than one type of disease. These vaccines may be as follows:
Tdap: The Tdap vaccine prevents tetanus, while also working to prevent diphtheria and pertussis, or whooping cough.
DTaP: The DTaP vaccine is the form doctors often use for very young children. It prevents tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.
Td or DT: The Td and DT shots prevent tetanus and diphtheria, and doctors use these as tetanus booster shots. A period of 10 years is the longest a person should go without a tetanus booster.
Some people should avoid the tetanus shot. Anyone who has ever had a severe allergic reaction to tetanus vaccines in the past should avoid having the tetanus shot again.
Most people get a tetanus shot as a child, and so it is helpful if people are aware of any reactions they had when they were young.
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What Is The Pneumonia Vaccine
The pneumoniavaccine is an injection that prevents you from contracting the pneumococcal disease. There are two pneumococcal vaccines licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States:
The Center for Disease Control recommends the PCV13 vaccine for:
- All children younger than 2 years old
- People 2 years or older with certain medical conditions
The CDC recommends PPSV23 for:
- All adults 65 years or older
- People 2 through 64 years old with certain medical conditions
- Smokers 19 through 64 years old
What Are The Symptoms Of Viral Pneumonia
You must visit a pulmonologist/doctor soon if you have
There are various viruses that can lead to pneumonia.
- Influenza A and B viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia in adults.
- Respiratory syncytial virus is a common cause of infection in infants and children.
- Coronaviruses cause COVID-19 infection.
- Rhinovirus, parainfluenza viruses and adenoviruses can cause pink eye.
- Other viruses that cause herpes simplex , measles and chickenpox may rarely cause pneumonia.
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Boosters Are Key To Preventing Severe Illness
COVID-19 is still sending nearly 5,000 Americans to the hospital each day, and experts say the new boosters can help prevent that number from swelling even more this winter, especially as other respiratory viruses rip through the country.
With flu and RSV co-circulating, theres just so much respiratory virus out there right now and the more you can do to protect yourself by getting the COVID booster, by getting the flu vaccine and wearing masks in large gatherings, will help you stay healthy, Talaat said. We also know that you can get more than one virus at the same time and that people who do get multiple viruses tend to be sicker. And so again, anything you can do to prevent infection is good.
Rachel Nania writes about health care and health policy for AARP. Previously she was a reporter and editor for WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C. A recipient of a Gracie Award and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, she also participated in a dementia fellowship with the National Press Foundation.
Editor’s Note: This story, originally published Sept. 24, 2021, has been updated to reflect new information.
More on Coronavirus
Preventing The Virus Spreading
If you have the shingles rash, do not share towels or flannels, go swimming, or play contact sports. This will help prevent the virus being passed on to someone who has not had chickenpox.
You should also avoid work or school if your rash is weeping and cannot be covered.
Chickenpox can be particularly dangerous for certain groups of people. If you have shingles, avoid:
- women who are pregnant and have not had chickenpox before as they could catch it from you, which may harm their unborn baby
- people who have a weak immune system, such as someone with HIV or AIDS
- babies less than one month old, unless it is your own baby, in which case your baby should have antibodies to protect them from the virus
Once your blisters have dried and scabbed over, you are no longer contagious and will not need to avoid anyone.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
For most people, the effects of Shingrix are mild and short-term. In very rare cases, Shingrix can cause more serious side effects.
Seek urgent medical care if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction a few minutes or hours after your second dose of Shingrix, such as:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Facial swelling
- Swelling in the throat or mouth
You should also let your healthcare provider know if your Shingrix side effects are severe or arent going away on their own.
How Will The Doctor Diagnose My Viral Pneumonia
Depending on the severity of your infection, your doctor will diagnose pneumonia.
If you have mild symptoms, your doctor may ask for
However, in older adults or children, the doctor may ask to test a throat swab culture. Your doctor may also ask for a test in which a camera is put down in your throat to check the airways.
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Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine
Some people shouldnt get the shingles vaccine. These people include those:
- Who currently have shingles.
- Who have had a severe allergic reaction to the shingles vaccine in the past.
- Who have tested negative for immunity to the varicella-zoster virus, meaning youve never had chickenpox. If youve never had chickenpox, you should get the chickenpox vaccine.
- Who are ill. You should wait until your illness has passed before receiving the shingles vaccine.
- Who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Is The Shingles Vaccine Safe
According to the CDC, research has shown that Shingrix is safe.
Some people experience short-term adverse effects, such as a fever, muscle aches, and headaches. However, these usually last only 2â3 days .
In rare cases, people have developed Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome after having the shingles vaccine. However, this can also happen after shingles. GBS is a severe nervous system disorder.
The recommends Shingrix for people who have or are likely to have a weakened immune system due to a health condition or treatment. Having a weakened immune system increases a personâs risk of developing shingles.
It can happen with the following:
- a medical condition that compromises the immune system, such as AIDS
- cancer that affects the lymphatic system or bone marrow
- cancer treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy
- medications that affect the immune system, such as steroids
However, a person with a weakened immune system should speak with their doctor about whether to have the vaccine and when.
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Why Is The Shingles Vaccine Important
Shingles causes a painful rash and blisters and it can lead to serious complications. The most common complication is post-herpetic neuralgia , a condition that causes burning pain that can last long after the shingles rash and blisters go away. The older you are when you get shingles, the more likely you are to develop PHN.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent shingles and PHN.
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the chickenpox virus stays dormant in your body. The virus can activate years later and cause shingles.
Symptoms of shingles include:
Shingles cant spread from person to person like chickenpox. But if you have shingles, you can spread the virus to someone who isnt immune to chickenpox meaning someone who hasnt had chickenpox and isnt vaccinated against it. If that happened, the person might get chickenpox but not shingles. Learn more about shingles.
- Adults age 50 and older
- Adults 19 years and older who have a weakened immune system because of disease or treatments
You need to get 2 doses of Shingrix. Youll need the second dose 2 to 6 months after the first dose. You need to get Shingrix even if you:
- Have already had shingles
- Have been vaccinated against shingles with Zostavax
- Are not sure if youve had chickenpox
What Everyone Should Know About The Shingles Vaccine
CDC recommends that adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Adults 19 years and older who have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix, as they have a higher risk of getting shingles and related complications.
Your doctor or pharmacist can give you Shingrix as a shot in your upper arm.
Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and PHN. In adults 50 years and older who have healthy immune systems, Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Immunity stays strong for at least the first 7 years after vaccination. In adults with weakened immune systems, studies show that Shingrix is 68%-91% effective in preventing shingles, depending on the condition that affects the immune system.
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When They Start How Long They Last
The shingles vaccine is given in a two-shot series. You may experience side effects after the first, second, or both shots. Most of the time, these symptoms are mild and occur immediately following vaccination. They typically only last for two or three days.
Side effects of the shingles vaccine are more common in younger people, and might interrupt your normal daily activities for a few days.
This may seem like a downside of the shingles vaccine, but remember that these symptoms are a result of the creation of a strong shingles defense within your body.
It is OK to take Tylenol or Advil after a shingles vaccine to relieve symptoms. Rest and plenty of fluids may help, too.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Shingrix
Studies show that Shingrix is safe. The vaccine helps your body create a strong defense against shingles. As a result, you are likely to have temporary side effects from getting the shots. The side effects might affect your ability to do normal daily activities for 2 to 3 days.
Most people got a sore arm with mild or moderate pain after getting Shingrix, and some also had redness and swelling where they got the shot. Some people felt tired, had muscle pain, a headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea. Some people who got Shingrix experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities. Symptoms went away on their own in about 2 to 3 days. Side effects were more common in younger people.
You might have a reaction to the first or second dose of Shingrix, or both doses. If you experience side effects, you may choose to take over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Guillain-Barré syndrome , a serious nervous system disorder, has been reported very rarely after Shingrix. There is also a very small increased risk of GBS after having shingles.
If you experience side effects from Shingrix, you should report them to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System . Your doctor might file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS websiteexternal icon, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.
If you have any questions about side effects from Shingrix, talk with your doctor.
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Side Effects Of Shingrix
Shingrix comes with one drawback, though, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Some of thecommon side effects, like arm pain, redness at the injection site, muscle pain and fevers became more common. They can last up to three days and be intense enough to limit your activity during that time.
Injection-site reactions during the clinical trial were common. Heres what patients experienced:
If you have pain or swelling at the injection site, Baker says, You can take Tylenol or ibuprofen. She adds that injection-site reactions like pain, redness and swelling expected and normal.
Systemic effects were also common, with 10% of people reporting that the symptoms were intense enough to limit their activity. Others reported the following:
- 17% gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea or diarrhea
If you are experiencing systemic symptoms after taking the vaccination, Baker says, Its certainly fine to take through the first two to three days when having symptoms. If the symptoms last longer than that, she says its time to call your healthcare provider.
The vaccine also may increase the risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare complication that can cause temporary paralysis.
As with any vaccine, anaphylactic shock is less likely, but a possible reaction. If you have hives, swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing or an elevated heart rate within hours of receiving the vaccine, you should contact your healthcare provider right away.
What Are The Advantages Of Getting The Shingles Vaccine
The shingles vaccine reduces your risk of getting shingles. Shingles causes a painful rash that usually develops on one side of your body or face. Some people describe the pain as an intense burning or shooting sensation. The rash is often a single strip that wraps around one side of your body or is on one side of your face. It consists of blisters that normally crust over in seven to 10 days. The rash generally clears up within a month.
For some people, the pain from the rash can last for months or even years after the rash goes away. This long-term pain is called postherpetic neuralgia , and it is the most common complication of shingles.
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When Should I Be Concerned About Post
“While different studies vary, fatigue is the most commonly reported side effect, with around 40-80% of people experiencing this,” Dr. Bhuyan explains, across Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnsons vaccines. The way you feel that tiredness, of course, might be much different than how your roommate does. They might have been completely knocked out and had to miss a day of work, whereas you might just need a power nap.
It’s normal for people to have varying responses to the vaccine, Dr. Bhuyan tells Bustle. “Some people report being able to work after their vaccine with no issues others report mild fatigue that is slightly distracting and yet others report they have taken naps after their vaccine.” None of that means that the vaccine is working better or worse it’s just different people’s bodies reacting in different ways. Think about that stomach bug you and your bestie both got on spring break that one time you both caught the same thing, but you were up all night in the bathroom and they mostly just had a bad bellyache.
You might to get concerned if the post-vaccine fatigue wipes you out for more than 48 hours, Dr. Bhuyan says. If it reaches that point, check in with your doctor to make sure everything’s OK.