Experimental vaccine of Merck & Co is to help to shingles patients

A shingles vaccine developed by &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/columnists/2002/10/07/37824_.html ' target=_blank>Merck & Co., Inc reduced pain in the majority of test patients, according to the company, which released the results of late-stage clinical trials.

Zostavax reduced pain and discomfort in 61 percent of shingles patients, according to the Merck (down $0.09 to $32.10,) study, conducted on more than 38,500 men and women aged 60 and older. Zostavax also reduced by 67 percent the incidence of persistent nerve pain, the most common complication caused by shingles, and reduced the incidence of shingles by 51 percent, according to Merck, tells CNN News.

An &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/columnists/2002/10/07/37824.html ' target=_blank>experimental vaccine can reduce both the incidence and the severity of shingles by more than half, doctors reported yesterday, in a development that could spare hundreds of thousands of elderly Americans from an extremely painful disease.

The effectiveness of the vaccine was determined in an unusually large clinical trial involving more than 38,500 people over the age of 60, the group most prone to shingles, a skin and nerve infection.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. That virus, called varicella-zoster, is not eradicated from the body when a person recovers from chickenpox, but instead lies dormant in the nervous system and can be reactivated if the immune system weakens.

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