Immunizations (cont.)

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What is the zoster vaccine, and who should receive it?

Herpes zoster is a reactivation of an old infection with the varicella virus (chickenpox). This rash can occur shortly after the infection with chickenpox or many years later. It causes a severely painful skin rash, and it can lead to chronic pain even after the rash is gone. In order to prevent the severe rash and the chronic pain, a vaccine (Zostavax) was developed and is recommended for all adults over 60 years of age.

What is the typhoid vaccine, and who should receive it?

Typhoid fever is an acute febrile illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. It is spread by contaminated food and water. Although quite common at one time in the U.S., it is very rare today. Most cases are in people who have traveled outside the U.S. Worldwide, the disease affects 13 million people. People who are traveling to areas with high rates of typhoid fever should receive the vaccine prior to leaving the U.S. Travelers should consult the CDC web site for specific recommendations depending on the countries they plan to visit (http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/).

What is the yellow fever vaccine, and who should receive it?

Yellow fever is an acute illness caused by a virus. The disease is extremely rare in the U.S., and it is usually found in people who have traveled outside the country. The disease is mild in many people, but it can cause liver failure and death. Approximately 20% of those who get the disease will die. Travelers to going to sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America are required by international health regulations to have a yellow fever vaccination. Travelers should consult the CDC web site for specific recommendations depending on the countries they plan to visit (http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/21/2014

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