1. Shingles is a virus that is already in your body if you have ever had chicken pox. It lies dormant in your body and will reemerge in 1 out of 3 people causing shingles. Not good odds.
2. The reason it resurfaces is unclear, but it may have something to do with age and/or a weakened immune system.
3. A person with shingles is contagious to anyone who is not immune to the chicken pox virus until the shingles sores begin to crust over. If the virus is passed to anyone who hasn't had chicken pox, they would get chicken pox, not shingles.
4. The virus can only be spread by direct contact with open sores.
6. Other symptoms can include sensitivity to touch, burning, numbness, tingling, fever, headache, sensitivity to light, and fatigue.
7. The rash often develops as a path of blisters that wraps around the torso.
8. It often occurs on the face, neck, and hands as well.
10. One of the complications is postherpetic neuralgia, damage to nerve fibers with severe pain long after the sores are gone.
11. Shingles can also cause eye infections which may lead to vision loss and bacterial skin infections.
12. In extreme cases, shingles can lead to encephalitis, facial paralysis, or hearing and balance problems.
13. There is no cure, but there are treatments available to speed recovery and prevent complications. There are anti-viral drugs that can be prescribed, pain relievers, and topical creams that can help ease the symptoms.
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