Shingles: 15 Little-Known Facts About the Virus (Part 1)

Shingles, also called by the name of herpes zoster, is a viral disease which involves a painful skin rash with blisters in a typically smaller area of the body. Here is part one of our educational list of facts about the virus.

Number Fifteen: Rashes are Not the Only Symptom

Although most people think the rash is the main symptom of this disease, it’s only one of the many issues that come along with it. Severe pain is also common and has been described as a burning or stabbing sensation.

Number Fourteen: Shingles Are Not as Rare as People Think

About a million people in the United States are infected with this virus every year. It becomes more common and likely as you age.

Number Thirteen: It’s Not the Same Disease as Chickenpox

It’s true that these two are caused by the very same virus, but this does not mean they are the same thing. Chickenpox is much milder and typically only affects kids.

Number Twelve: It Does Not Only Affect Old People

Although it’s most common in elderly folks, it can also occur in young adults, or even children in some cases. If you have an immune system weakened by certain infections such as HIV or cancer, you have an increased risk.

Number Eleven: Only People Who Had Chickenpox Can Have Shingles

Once the chickenpox virus enters your body, it’s there forever. For most of us, experiencing this uncomfortable illness in childhood will be our only attack of the virus. About a quarter of people will have it re-emerge later in life as shingles.

Number Ten: Some People Endure the Pain for Years

Shingles typically only last for a few weeks to a month. There are some unlucky sufferers out there, however, who will experience pain for multiple months or even years.

Number Nine: Extreme Reactions

This is not very common, but it’s happened before. Some people with the virus have suffered brain inflammation, blindness, deafness, or in severe cases, even death. We hope you found part one of our list informative and don’t forget to return for part two.