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What’s going around: Shingles

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(WKOW) -- Medical professionals report almost one in three people in the U.S. will get shingles.

If you've ever had chickenpox, you're at risk. Even kids can get shingles, but your risk for shingles gets higher once you're over 60 years old.

Sarah Smith BSN, DNP from Monroe Clinic explained to 27 News, shingles is a painful rash that develops on one side of your face or body. The rash blisters and scabs in a week to 10 days and clears up in two to four weeks.

Before the rash, Smith said you often have pain, itching or tingling. Additional symptoms are as follows:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Upset stomach

An anti-viral medication can help treat shingles. It can shorten the length and severity, but Smith noted the medication needs to be started as soon as possible to be effective.

Shingles cannot be passed from person to person, but the virus can infect someone who has never had chickenpox or the vaccine.

Smith said you're considered contagious until the rash is dried up and crusted over.

The only way to reduce your risk of shingles is to get vaccinated. You're also encouraged to get the chickenpox vaccine if you've never been infected.

Caroline Bach

Anchor, 27 News at 11

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