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shinglesShingles, Herpes Zoster

Description: a very painful condition where a virus infects usually just one nerve and causes a painful rash on the skin supplied by that nerve. The rash often becomes infected, and sometimes after healing, a deep pain called post-herpetic neuralgia, persists.

The chicken pox virus (VZV varicella zoster virus) and causes chicken pox which is usually mild with a rash all over the body.  Shingles is a reactivation of this virus which has been sitting in the nerve cells in the spinal cord, usually in older people or those with compromised immune systems.  It is best for older people, especially if frail or with reduced immunity, to avoid children with chickenpox. Note - shingles is contagious to people who have never had chickenpox only when the blisters are present.

Read more about what steps you or your doctor can take to lessen the effects of, or help cure this condition.

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