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SHINGLES: who gets it and why

Forewarned is forearmed” goes the saying and in the case of the fairly common disease known as shingles the phrase is quite apt.

Knowing the symptoms of shingles ahead of time can often limit its severity in the one-in-three people who will suffer its effects.


The Culprit

“Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus,” said Anna Pankratov MD, internal medicine physician with St. Vincent’s MultiSpecialty Group. “This is the same virus that causes chicken pox and only persons who have had chicken pox can develop shingles. The virus never leaves the body, but just retreats to cells of the nervous system where it can stay quietly for years. When it reactivates, it causes shingles.”


Who's at Risk?

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