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Shingles (zoster)
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Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Shingles (zoster)

Shingles is a painful disease caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. It is also called zoster. Shingles usually includes a painful rash with blisters that can occur anywhere on your body, even the face and eyes. The main symptom of shingles is severe pain. Some people have compared it with the pain of childbirth or kidney stones.
For about 1 out of 5 people with shingles, severe pain can continue for months, or even years. This long-lasting pain can be so bad that it interferes with eating and sleeping. Some people with severe pain from shingles have even committed suicide. Although some medicines can help treat shingles, there is no cure.
Anyone who has ever had chickenpox can get shingles. You are more likely to develop shingles as you get older.
The best way to prevent shingles and its serious complications is to get vaccinated. You should get the shingles shot if you are age 60 years or older, even if you’ve already had shingles. It is possible to get the disease more than once.
Shingles (zoster) Vaccine Schedule
If you are age 60 years or older, you should get a 1-time dose of this vaccine now.
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Trusted Websites
Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Find fact sheets for adults, resources, multimedia, and more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
>> CDC Features: Shingles (zoster)
A Look at Each Vaccine: Shingles
A Look at Each Vaccine: Shingles
Questions and answers about the disease and vaccines from the Vaccine Education Center
Senior Health: Shingles
Senior Health: Shingles
Informational website, includes cause, symptoms, treatment, prevention and videos of shingles from the National Institutes of Health
What is Shingles?
What is Shingles?
Shingles is a common disease among older adults, but most people don't know how to recognize its symptoms in time to get effective treatment.
View all diseases and vaccines
Video Library
Video: Shingles, The Inside Story - Dennis Grogan
Shingles, The Inside Story - Dennis Grogan: The virus that causes shingles may already be inside you. Your risk for shingles increases as you get older. Watch Dennis Grogan, a retired firefighter, share his personal experience with shingles.
>> view all shingles videos
Personal Testimonies
Stories of suffering and loss from shingles
Shingles: An unwelcome encore
>> view all personal testimonies
More Shingles (zoster) Information
Protect Yourself from Shingles
Protect Yourself from Shingles
Vaccine summary for teens and adults
>> Spanish-language
Shingles (zoster) Questions & Answers
Shingles Q&As
Shingles (zoster) disease and vaccine information
Shingles (zoster): What You Should Know
What You Should Know
Shingles (zoster) Q&A fact sheet
>> Spanish-language
Shingles Photos
Some of the images are quite graphic
>> view all shingles photos
 
This page was reviewed on March 3, 2014
Immunization Action Coalition   •  Saint Paul, MN
tel 651-647-9009  •  fax 651-647-9131
 
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), a non-profit organization, works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services. IAC also facilitates communication about the safety, efficacy, and use of vaccines within the broad immunization community of patients, parents, healthcare organizations, and government health agencies.