Conditions and Diseases
Skin Care
Shingles (infection)

Can shingles recur?



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Yes, it can. The shingles is caused by the same virus -- herpes zoster -- that causes the chicken pox. As human beings' life expectancy increases, we are discovering that some diseases caused by viruses and once believed to be one-time events are recurring. Some people who have had mild cases of chicken pox as children are getting a second outbreak of them as older adults. Others get the shingles. The severity and the duration of the symptoms can vary greatly from person to person and from episode to episode. Recently, an article appearing in the NY Times reported that a vaccine has been created to prevent the shingles. It is specifically indicated for middle-aged and older adults. There is some controversy over whether people who have already had an outbreak of shingles would benefit from the vaccine. The data seem to indicate that for people who have already had the disease, the vaccine will not reduce the chances of recurrence but will reduce the severity of the symptoms should the disease recur. Stress is a factor for another outbreak of the shingles. People with allergies are also at higher risk.