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Herpes zoster , also known as shingles, is a viral infection. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox in children. After a child has recovered from chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in the body. The virus can be stimulated later in life, typically at age 60 and older. It is revived as the shingles virus.
The virus re-emerges as shingles for unknown reasons. Suspected causes include stress or a weakened immune system. It is typically only revived once with only one bout of symptoms. More than one episode can occur. It is a common illness in the US.
The virus that causes shingles can be spread to people who have not yet had chickenpox. These people would get chickenpox, not shingles.
The most common symptoms of shingles include:
- Painful, itchy skin that turns into...