Arming Yourself Against Shingles

For Public Health Awareness week, News 3 is focusing on shingles.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. It is a painful rash often with blisters on the skin that last from two to four weeks.

The first sign of shingles is burning pain, numbness or itch, in one particular location on only one side of the body. Other symptoms include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach.

Only someone who has had a case of chickenpox, or has gotten the chickenpox vaccine, can get shingles. The virus stays in your body and can reappear years later.

A person should not get the shingles vaccine who:

- has ever had a life threatening allergic reaction to gelatin
- has a weakened immune system
- has active, untreated tuberculosis
- is pregnant or may become pregnant
- is undergoing cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy
- is severely ill

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