Barbara Walters was hospitalized for chickenpox, as reported at Salon. Her unfortunate incident is an addition to another misfortune, that of falling and hitting her head on Jan. 19. "She's been told to rest. She’s not allowed any visitors," said fellow "The View" host Whoopi Goldberg. "And we’re telling you, Barbara, no scratching!"
Although Walters is being treated for the chickenpox virus, there's another virus that she'll likely need to be concerned about. Since the chickenpox virus becomes dormant in the body, the shingles virus can developed from the chickenpox virus. The older a person gets, the higher the possibility of contracting shingles. According to the CDC, "There are about a million new cases of shingles each year in the United States," and "half of people living to age 85 have had or will get shingles." Furthermore, the CDC says, "Among those who get shingles, more than one-third will develop serious complications. The risk of complications rises after 60 years of age." Walters turned 83 in September.
According to the Mayo Clinic there are two vaccines that can help to prevent chickenpox and shingles, but neither are guarantees. The varicella vaccine or Varivax can help to prevent chickenpox. The varicella-zoster vaccine or Zostavax can be taken by people age 50 and older to help against shingles.
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