Shingles is caused by the varicella-zostervirus, from the herpes virus family. The same virus causes chickenpox or chickenpox in children. Most people contract an infection during childhood, after which the virus can lie dormant in your nerves.
In people with a weakened immune system – for example due to stress, diabetes, a corona infection, or simply due to advanced age – it is possible that the virus will rear its head again. Adults who have never contracted chickenpox can also become infected.
In adults, such an outbreak manifests as shingles or zone: a band-shaped rash, often on one side of the body, usually on the chest, back, trunk, neck, or face. The red spots or blisters in shingles can be preceded by a burning sensation, pain or itching, and accompanied by a fever or a flu-like feeling.
Shingles is not rare. It is estimated that one in three people will experience it at some point in their life.