May 18, 2024

In the Name of Allah—the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

What Are Shingles?

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the nervous system, and later in life, it can reactivate and cause shingles.

Symptoms of Shingles

Shingles typically affect one side of the body, in a band or strip of skin known as a dermatome. The first symptom is often a tingling or burning sensation, followed by the appearance of a rash of fluid-filled blisters. The rash can be accompanied by fever, headache, fatigue, and sensitivity to light.

Shingles usually last two to four weeks, and most people recover without complications. However, some people may experience long-term pain or complications such as vision loss or skin infections.

Shingles Vaccine

There is a vaccine available to prevent shingles, called the shingles vaccine or herpes zoster vaccine. It is recommended for people over the age of 50, and it can reduce the risk of developing shingles and its complications. If you think you may have shingles, it is important to see a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.

Are Shingles Contagious?

Shingles can be contagious, but it is less contagious than chickenpox. Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. When a person has chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the body and can reactivate later in life, causing shingles.

Shingles can be transmitted through direct contact with the rash or blisters of a person who has shingles. However, the virus is not spread through the air, so casual contact with a person who has shingles is unlikely to transmit the virus. People who have never had chickenpox or have never received the chickenpox vaccine are at risk of getting chickenpox if they come into contact with the fluid from the blisters of a person with shingles.

To prevent the spread of shingles, people with shingles should avoid close contact with pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and people who have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine. Additionally, people with shingles should keep the rash covered and wash their hands frequently to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others. If you think you have shingles, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.

How to prevent shingles?


The best way to prevent shingles is to get vaccinated with the shingles vaccine or herpes zoster vaccine. The vaccine is recommended for people aged 50 and over, even if they have already had shingles or do not remember having chickenpox.

In addition to getting vaccinated, there are several other steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting shingles:

  1. Maintain a healthy immune system: Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and managing stress can all help keep your immune system strong and reduce your risk of developing shingles.

  2. Practice good hygiene: Washing your hands frequently and avoiding close contact with people who have active shingles or chickenpox can help reduce your risk of getting the virus.

  3. Manage chronic medical conditions: People with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV are at a higher risk of developing shingles. If you have a chronic medical condition, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to manage your condition and reduce your risk of developing shingles.

  4. Seek prompt treatment for chickenpox: If you or your child develop chickenpox, it’s important to seek prompt treatment to reduce the risk of developing shingles later in life.

If you think you may have been exposed to the varicella-zoster virus or are experiencing symptoms of shingles, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. Early treatment can help reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications.

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