Shingles is more common after the age of 50 and the
risk increases with advancing age. Shingles causes
numbness, itching or severe pain followed by clusters of
blister-like lesions in a strip-like pattern on one side
of your body. The pain can persist for weeks, months or
years after the rash heals and is then known as
- Is shingles contagious?
Yes, people with shingles are contagious to persons who
have not had chickenpox. Therefore, people who have not
had chickenpox can catch chickenpox if they have close
contact with a person who has shingles. However, you can
not catch shingles itself from someone else. Shingles is
caused by the chickenpox virus which has been dormant
(staying quiet) in your body ever since you had
chickenpox. So, you get shingles from your own chickenpox
virus, not from someone else.
- What should I do if I
Contact your health care provider as soon as possible
to discuss treatment with antiviral medications. These
medications are most effective if given as soon as
possible after rash onset.
- Can someone who has been
vaccinated for chickenpox develop shingles?
Yes. However, a study conducted among children with
leukemia determined that after receiving the vaccine these
children were much less likely to develop shingles than
children who had prior natural chickenpox. Available
information from healthy children and adults suggest that
shingles is less common in vaccinated healthy persons
compared with persons who have had natural chickenpox.
- Is there a vaccine
available to prevent or modify shingles?
No; however, a study is currently underway with a new
formulation of the chickenpox vaccine to determine whether
vaccination of persons older than 55 years of age will
reduce the frequency and/or severity of shingles in
adults. Results from this study will be available in about
Source Public Domain National Immunization Program