Q:

Does shingles occur in children?

A:

Quick Answer

Shingles does occur in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are approximately one million cases of shingles in the United States each year. While the chance of developing shingles is higher for adults over 60, it affects people of any age.

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Full Answer

According to the Mayo Clinic, shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same one that causes chicken pox. After a chicken pox infection clears up, the virus lies dormant near the nerve roots and is sometimes reactivated later in life.

The Mayo Clinic further states that pain is one of the first symptoms of shingles. It is usually accompanied by a strip of blisters on one side of the torso, along with itching, burning, tingling or numbness. Some patients also report fatigue, aches, fever, chills and headaches. While there is no cure for shingles, prompt medical attention may lessen the severity. Antiviral drugs and pain medication are sometimes prescribed, if needed.

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