August 2018

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Health Capsule

Preventing Shingles

Did you ever have chickenpox? If so, you’re at risk for getting a disease called shingles. About 1 out of every 3 people will get shingles at some point in their lives.

After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus becomes inactive and hides in your body. Shingles is caused by the virus becoming active again, but its symptoms can be much more severe. Burning, itchy rashes and blisters may appear on one side of your body or face. You might also feel fatigue, fever, headache, or an upset stomach.

The rashes and blisters can take 3 to 5 weeks to heal. However, the pain could last much longer. It’s possible to get shingles more than once.

As you get older, your risk for getting shingles grows. Shingles most commonly occurs in adults over 50, but it can appear at any age. 

There are now two shingles vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for people over 50. They can help prevent shingles or lower the extent of the effects it may cause. 

Learn more about shingles.