Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 22:11:20 -0400
Reply-To: Russ Phifer <rphifer**At_Symbol_Here**WCENVIRONMENTAL.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Russ Phifer <rphifer**At_Symbol_Here**WCENVIRONMENTAL.COM>
Organization: WC Environmental, LLC
Subject: Re: Shingles Vaccine
Comments: To: Peter Zavon
In-Reply-To: <003101c8bad7$b690ff70$6bebe248**At_Symbol_Here**ZavonHP>

I had the shingles earlier this year; my twin brother had it about 10 years
ago.  I don't remember ever hearing about it when I was young, except as an
"old peoples" disease.  My case was mild, as was my brother's.  Early
treatment is everything, according to my physician and the other people I've
talked to who came down with it.  I really don't see the value of a vaccine
- education and early treatment would seem to be more sensible.


Russ Phifer
WC Environmental, LLC
PO Box 1718, 1085C Andrew Drive
West Chester, PA  19380
610-696-9220x12/ fax 610-344-7519
P Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this
e-mail or any other document
-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of
Peter Zavon
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 8:15 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Shingles Vaccine

As usual with single case reports, this one shows the experience of one
person and should not be generalized by itself.  I am not yet 60, and no one
in my family had shingles until 2007, as far as I know, yet I have been
aware of the disease and its relationship to chickenpox for decades.

My father, a retired occupational physician who was also well aware of
shingles, came down with it late last year.  Despite early treatment, it
lasted, with occasional remission and re-occurrence, for several months, and
I don't think we are certain it is gone now.  Although hospitalization was
not required, it was very painful and debilitating.

Heinz is fortunate in his course of the disease, but that is not a basis for
saying that others will be, even with early treatment.  Since most of us
have had chicken pox, most of us are at risk of shingles.  Reducing that
risk by 50% seems well worth considering to me.

Peter Zavon, CIH
Penfield, NY


> -----Original Message-----
> From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] 
> On Behalf Of heinz and inge trebitz
> Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 8:39 AM
> To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
> Subject: [DCHAS-L] Shingles Vaccine
> Dear Moderator:
> Doug Walters, in his May 16 posting, points to a recent 
> article in the Washington Post (May 15, Health Day News) 
> discussing the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention 
> recommendation that all adults over age 60 should be 
> vaccinated against shingles. To quote from the article: " 
> Shingles is caused by the chicken pox virus, known as 
> Varicella Zoster, which remains dormant in the body after 
> being infected. [When emerging many years later, the Shingles 
> virus] causes blisters , which develop on one side of the 
> body, [possibly] including the face, and can cause severe 
> pain that can last for weeks, months or years."
> Shingles? Unless you or somebody in the family had your own 
> personal experience, this may be your first time hearing 
> about the disease. In the first few years after WW II there 
> were lots of shingles cases in Germany. My father, then 46, 
> came down with it and was hospitalized for a week. I suspect 
> that the general poor state of health (and diminished immunity
> defenses) were part of the cause. Until early last year, when 
> I got shingles myself, I've never heard about shingles again. 
> In my case the rashes appeared on the right side of my back, 
> just below the belt line. I remembered my father's illness 
> and went to see a doctor within 3 days from noticing the 
> first symptoms and was successfully treated. There was no 
> need to be hospitalized.
> Does the experience justify vaccination at $ 150 a shot?
> The Washington Post article mentions that " for those aged 60 
> or older, the vaccine reduced the occurrence by about 50 %". 
> Not very impressive.
> About half of the 1 million shingles cases in the US per year 
> occur in people age 60 and older. That is only 1.2 % of the 
> US population between age 60 and 85. As my case shows (and 
> doctors will confirm) shingles, if diagnosed early, can be 
> treated successfully, avoiding most of the long-lasting nerve pains.
> Early treatment is much cheaper
> than vaccination.
> There is no shingles epidemic in the waiting. Much different 
> from the occurrence of chicken pox, infection with shingles 
> through airborne contact is unlikely.
> However, vaccination may be advisable for persons with immuno 
> deficiencies.
> My recent case of shingles probably was caused by the 
> administration of an immune depressant in connection with an 
> artificial lens implantation in both eyes.
> Obviously, the decision whether to get vaccinated is a 
> personal one. It is also a matter of education. 
> Unfortunately, the Washington Post article fails to present 
> concise information on the nature of the disease and the 
> importance of early diagnosis and treatment.
> One final set of numbers: According to US census there are 
> approx. 40 million people in the US between age 60 and 85. At 
> a cost of $ 150 per vaccine dosis, the vaccination of all 
> people age 60 to 85 in the US would cost $ 6 billion.
> Heinz H. Trebitz, Ph.D.
> Thetford Center, VT 05075
> Tel: 802-785-2129
> e-mail: iht63**At_Symbol_Here**

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG. 
Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 269.23.21/1457 - Release Date: 5/20/2008
4:45 PM

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG. 
Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 269.23.21/1457 - Release Date: 5/20/2008
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