Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 99% of Americans born before 1980 have had chickenpox, placing that age group at an increased risk for shingles as they age. Roughly 10% of people who get shingles will develop nerve pain that can last months or even years. 

The Shingles vaccine is available at no charge to any Greene County resident age 60 years or older, thanks to a grant from the Greene County Senior Citizens' Services Fund Board.

The CDC recommends that all adults age 50 years and older receive the two-dose shingles immunization, even if you have had shingles in the past or are unsure if you ever had chickenpox. People ages 50-59, who are interested in the shingles vaccine should contact their healthcare provider.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Signs and symptoms
  2. Transmission
  3. Complications
  4. Treatment

Shingles is a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body. The rash consists of blisters that typically scab over in 7 to 10 days and fully clears up within 2 to 4 weeks.

Before the rash appears, people often have pain, itching, or tingling in the area where it will develop. This may happen several days before the rash appears.

Most commonly, the rash occurs in a single stripe around either the left or the right side of the body. In other cases, the rash occurs on one side of the face. Shingles on the face can affect the eye and cause vision loss. In rare cases (usually in people with weakened immune systems), the rash may be more widespread on the body and look similar to a chickenpox rash.

Other symptoms of shingles can include

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Upset stomach