rolling thru summer J ust because it’s summer doesn’t mean that call volume simmers; in fact, numbers rise due to a higher population across the region. Sharing last month’s stats with intentions of continuing with monthly reports based on areas, is where residents can see how important Pocono Mountain Regional EMS is to the community.
Thank you to Lehigh Valley Health Network for joining the “information collaboration” with another edition of Ask the Doctor. And here’s a hopeful “thank you” to YOU too that you’ll consider joining our community barbecue August 22 at Skytop!
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IN THIS EDITION 2 CALL VOLUME
Area Response Numbers
3 LVHN: PHYSICIAN POINTS Shingles Q&A
4 TABLE FOR YOU
Open to the Public-Roundup BBQ
An ever-increasing call volume across a 250 square mile emergency response region in June keeps attention on positive growth reasons for Pocono Mountain Regional EMS. Sharing a few stats on where PMREMS was at illustrates the intensity of area needs as we look
ahead to planning for the future. From continuing grant strategies; to creating ways to fundraise that also serves a beneficial purpose, PMREMS remains on top addressing community needs.
Mt Pocono Paradise 63 42
Tunkhannock 31 responDed to
JUNE 2019 *total includes calls to surrounding areas
Barrett 42 Price 11
Ask the Doctor
Shingles Q&A with Syed Zia, MD Shingles is a serious illness that some people who had chickenpox earlier in life can develop. Family medicine physician Syed Zia, MD, with LVPG Family Medicine–West End, explains more about shingles, who is at risk, what the symptoms are, and how shingles can be prevented.
of being unwell. Within one to two days, a rash of blisters appears on one side of the body in a band-like pattern. The trunk (chest, upper, or lower back) is usually affected by the shingles rash. The rash can also occur on the face. The pain of shingles can be mild or severe, and usually has a sharp, stabbing, or burning quality. 5. When should you see your LVPG family physician? See your LVPG provider as soon as you suspect shingles, especially if you’re 50 years or older, have a weakened immune system or if the rash is widespread and painful.
1. Who gets shingles? Shingles can occur in individuals of all ages who have had chickenpox. It is much 6. What are the treatment options for a more common in adults aged 50 years and older. Not person with shingles? There is no cure for shingles, everyone who has had chickenpox will develop shingles. but prompt treatment with antiviral medications like Valtrex 2. What other factors increase your chances (valacyclovir) or Zovirax (acyclovir) can speed up healing and reduce the chances of complications. of developing shingles? Shingles can occur in healthy adults. However, some people are at a higher risk of For severe pain associated with shingles, pain developing it because of a weakened immune system. The medications ranging from topical to oral are prescribed. immune system may be weakened by: 7. How long do shingles last? Shingles generally 1) Certain cancers or other diseases that interfere with a lasts between 2 to 6 weeks. normal immune response 2) Immune-suppressing medications used to treat certain 8. If children today are vaccinated against conditions chickenpox can they still get shingles in 3) Chemotherapy for cancer their lifetime? Chickenpox vaccine do contain a weak 4) Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) version of live virus, which can reactivate later in life and 3. How are shingles related to chickenpox? cause shingles, but this is very rare. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once someone recovers from 9. Is there a vaccine for shingles? Currently chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the nerves. It can two vaccines are available for protection from shingles, Zostavax and Shingrix. re-activate later to cause shingles. Zostavax was approved in 2006. It is a live vaccine, given as a single dose after 60 years of age. It has shown to offer 4. What are the symptoms and signs that someone might have shingles? Shingles usually protection against shingles for approximately five years. Shingrix was approved in 2017. It is a non-live vaccine begin with unusual sensations, such as itching, burning or made of a component of virus. It is given in two doses tingling in an area of skin on one side of the body. Some people develop a fever, headache or a generalized feeling with 2-6 months interval between doses. It has shown to provide protection beyond five years. It is recommended after 50 years and older including those who have previously received Zostavax vaccine. Syed Zia, MD, is board certified in family medicine. He is accepting new patients at LVPG Family Medicine–West End.
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