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Health Tip: Shingles 101

(HealthDay News) -- Shingles is a painful rash that is caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same one that causes chickenpox.

After triggering chickenpox, the virus may lay dormant inside the body and re-emerge as shingles, typically after a person reaches age 50.

Although there is no cure, shingles can be prevented and treated, the U.S. National Institute on Aging says.

The agency offers this information:

  • Typical symptoms of shingles include burning, radiating pain, itching or tingling, headache, upset stomach and or blisters that most often develop on the waist and face.

  • Healthy adults older than 50 should consider getting the shingles vaccine.

  • Shingles is not typically contagious, but it can spread during the blister phase, so it's a good idea to keep the rash covered.

  • Shingles tends to last 3-5 weeks.

  • People tend to get shingles once in a lifetime, but it is possible to get it more than once.

  • 1 in 3 people will develop shingles.

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