Eleven days ago, I unpacked some surprising information about chickenpox and I pray someone found it helpful. Whenever I seek information on a deeper level, it’s a rare day that I don’t learn something myself and a rarer day still that I don’t end up down some rabbit hole that fascinates (and sometimes disturbs me ? ).
Shingles (aka herpes zoster) is also caused by the varicella zoster virus and is the “adult thug version” of chickenpox….
....Bigger and badder than it was in the kiddie version.
With shingles, there is nearly always a rash of some sort, but the hallmark is nerve pain (neuropathy). The pain can be debilitating and is often described as burning, stabbing, throbbing, and/or a shooting pain. Neuropathic pain from an outbreak can last days to months (at which point it is diagnosed as postherpetic nauralgia - PHN). Other symptoms may include (but not limited to) fever, headache, upset stomach and muscle weakness.
While a shingles event is not contagious (meaning, you can’t “catch” shingles), someone with active shingles CAN pass chickenpox on to a child ?? or adult ? who has never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine. It’s far better to have chickenpox as a child, than it is as an adult…. Hence, the importance of getting this childhood disease as a child. Remember those chickenpox parties I was telling you about in Part I? ?
Shingles is the same virus that will have been lying dormant in the body of someone who had chickenpox OR, in some cases, in those who had the chickenpox vaccine.
WAIT! …… I thought we wouldn’t get shingles later in life if we got the chickenpox vaccine ?
I believe that was the plan, but sometimes messing with what God has laid out for us isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Despite the advent of the chickenpox vaccine (1995) and the shingles vaccine (2006), the incidence of shingles has only continued to rise ?. Take a look at the graph I’ve attached. Notice that as the incidence of chickenpox decreases? , the incidence of shingles has increased ? dramatically. Additionally, while shingles used to be an affliction of the elderly and immunocompromised, it has become much more common in younger and younger people.
Prior to both vaccinations, the incidence of shingles appeared to have been pretty uncommon. According to the article below, shingles was rare enough that only two US studies had been found to report data (in study format) on the incidence of shingles circa 1960. . I have searched for hours and have not been able to find solid numbers on shingles cases prior to the early 1980’s. (Please do comment if you can find anything relating to this)
So why are shingles so prevalent now? ….And how prevalent are they?
➡️ An estimated one million cases occur annually in the USA
➡️ 4 cases per 1000 people in the USA
➡️ 1 case per 100 among people 60 years and older
Are you familiar with herd immunity?
Herd immunity by definition is a form of indirect protection from an infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection (by developing antibodies) thru a previous infection (NOT by means of vaccination ? ).
In short, herd immunity is one of God’s (many) health gifts to us. Herd immunity helps us take care of each other as a whole. #herdimmunitycommunity
Why can’t we achieve herd immunity thru vaccination? It would seem easy to do that, wouldn’t it?
Well, you’d think so…. But God and (His) nature have a plan, and His ways are not our ways…. They are better! Viruses are constantly changing… (heck, we’ve learned this with the ‘rona virus ) and vaccines cannot keep up with the mutations.
(ex: The flu vaccine is a crap shoot every year, and often the projected guestimate misses the projected virus strains chosen based on the previous year's worldwide flu).
So how does this pertain to shingles?.... And chickenpox? Studies show that before routine use of the chickenpox vaccine, children who recovered from chickenpox later experienced recurrent asymptomatic boosting of immunity by coming into contact with others who were actively infected with chickenpox….. It is God’s way of keeping us safe.
Parents and grandparents who interacted with their kids and grandkids were then less likely to develop shingles because they had the opportunity to reinforce their immunity thru periodic exposure to “wild” chickenpox.
??IMPORTANT‼️Without this periodic asymptomatic exposure to the “wild chickenpox”, the dormant varicella-zoster virus can re emerge as shingles, especially in the elderly and in those with a weakened immune system.
Now the puzzle pieces are falling into place.
As “wild” chickenpox exposure becomes more of a rarity, no natural immune boosting can occur.
?⚕️ What I say next is my opinion and observation. ?⚕️
I have family members and loved ones that have regular occurrences of shingles.
I fill prescriptions regularly for medications that are for long term treatment of postherpetic neuralgia. The prescriptions are often neither cheap and none are without substantial side effects..... side effects that are damaging at the cellular level.
Some of these shingles patients are in their 20’s and 30’s…. Adults who got the chickenpox vaccine back in the 90’s onward. It’s no longer an aged or infirmed affliction.
I have listened to family, friends, and pharmacy clients lament the pain and the quality of life decline as a result of shingles... especially those who have recurrent flares. Many of them get shingles over and over again…. (And many of these in the older generation have also gotten the shingles vaccine).
I don’t know. It seems to me that God had it under control. His ways insured us and kept us safer as we aged. I would much rather be exposed thru periodic herd immunity (in its correctly defined state).
I leave you with this quote from another study I’ll attach below. Anything in ( ) are my comments or thoughts:
“In the prelicensure era, 95% of adults experienced natural chickenpox (usually as children ?? )—these cases were usually benign and resulted in long-term immunity. Varicella vaccination (the chickenpox vaccine) is less effective than the natural immunity that existed in prevaccine communities. Universal varicella (chickenpox) vaccination has not proven to be cost-effective as increased HZ (shingles) morbidity (pain, suffering, and medicating) has disproportionately offset cost savings associated with reductions in varicella disease (Was chickenpox such a bad thing after all? #notreally ) . Universal (chickenpox) varicella vaccination has failed to provide long-term protection from (shingles)VZV disease.”
(excerpt from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3759842/ )
Someone, please tell me why we are vaccinating against chickenpox? I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather continue down the path God pre-designed for us than rely on man…. Chickenpox is looking pretty good. #CommunityImmunity
What we CAN do..... what we ought to be doing..... what I hope ALL of you are doing is this:
? Eating quality (unprocessed, nonGMO'd) food and drinking "clean" water
? Exercising regularly (improve muscle mass, help your heart, improve your balance, and decrease stress!)
? De-stress daily. This is sooo important. Use your Lavender, your StressAway (my fave), Tranquil, Peace & Calming, or RutaVala (and that's just a few!)
? Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Use your Immupro or Sleep Essence along with a sleepy time diffuser blend (the aroma options are endless to help you get your ??. )
? Remove your known toxin load and replace those things with non-toxic alternatives (please visit with me if you are not yet a Young Living member, or reach out to your bestie who is and one of us will hook you up! ) ... Young Living has non toxic alternatives to everything from housecleaning , to vitamins, to makeup and beyond. Importantly.... their essential oils are pure, safe, and effective.
Nothing does more for boosting immunity than the self care I just mentioned above. #loveyourselfenoughtocareforyourself
Have a beautiful day! I learned something in my digging and I hope you did too.
PS: the links below are to a couple other studies and articles for those who like to dig deeper . Enjoy!
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!