Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Shingle(s) is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which causes chickenpox. While it is not life-threatening, it can be extremely uncomfortable and can lead to severe complications in some cases.
According to the CDC, 1 out of every 3 people in the US will develop chickenpox or shingles at some point during their lifetime. The risk of developing this viral infection increases with age, with over half of all cases occurring in people over 60 years old. Women – due to genetic factors – are more likely than men to develop shingles, but it can affect anyone who has had chickenpox.
What Is Shingles?
It is a viral infection – caused by the varicella-zoster virus – that causes a painful rash. This infection is followed by chickenpox. After recovery from chickenpox, the virus remains in the nervous system and can reactivate years later as shingles. It can occur in anyone with chickenpox but is more common in weak/older adults and immunocompromised people. (1)