NIHSeniorHealth Offers Information about Shingles
Each year, 600,000 or more Americans are diagnosed with shingles,
a painful skin disease caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox
virus. Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for shingles, though
people over age 50 are at greatest risk. Effective treatments and
prevention have been limited, but recent research has shown that
shingles can be treated if treatment is started early. Now, information
about shingles how to recognize it and treat it is only a
mouse click away at www.nihseniorhealth.gov.
"Shingles is a major health problem in older adults. Launching
this Web topic is an important step toward our goal of informing
older adults about this debilitating disease," says Anthony
S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which developed the content for the
shingles topic on the Web site. "Older Americans can turn
to NIHSeniorHealth for accurate, helpful information about shingles
diagnosis, treatment, and research."
One of the fastest growing age groups using the Internet, older
Americans increasingly turn to the World Wide Web for health information.
In fact, 66 percent of "wired" seniors surf for health
and medical information when they go online. NIHSeniorHealth, a
joint effort of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National
Library of Medicine (NLM), was designed especially with seniors
in mind. The site is based on the latest research on cognition
and aging. It features short, easy-to-read segments of information
that can be accessed in a variety of formats, including various
large-print type sizes, open-captioned videos, and even an audio
version. Additional topics coming soon to the site include problems
with taste and smell, eye diseases, stroke, and osteoporosis. The
site links to MedlinePlus, NLM's premier, more detailed site for
consumer health information.
The NIA leads the Federal effort supporting and conducting research
on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The NLM,
the world's largest library of the health sciences, creates and
sponsors Web-based health information resources for the public
and professionals. The NIAID supports research to prevent, diagnose,
and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, influenza, and
tuberculosis; transplantation; and immune-related illnesses, including
autoimmune disorders, asthma, and allergies. All three are components
of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, part
of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.