Who is at highest risk for getting Shingles?
Scientists do not understand the biological mechanisms underlying reactivation of varicella zoster infection but risk factors are thought to include aging, immunosuppression, exposure to chickenpox infection during pregnancy and having had chickenpox under age 18 months.1
Individuals who have had the chickenpox can develop shingles and half of all cases occur in people age 60 and over. According to the CDC, it is estimated that between 500,000 to 1 million cases of shingles occur annually in the U.S. and that about a third of Americans will develop shingles (herpes zoster) at some point in their life. 2 Most people who develop shingles will only have one episode, however, it is possible for individuals to develop shingles a second or third time.3
IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Shingles and the Shingles vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents , which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.
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1 CDC. Clinical Features – Recurrent Disease (Herpes Zoster). Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases - The Pink Book: Course Textbook. - 13th Edition (2015)
2 CDC. Clinical Features – Recurrent Disease (Herpes Zoster). Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases - The Pink Book: Course Textbook. - 13th Edition (2015)
3 CDC. Shingles (Herpes Zoster). About Shingles – Overview. Jun. 15, 2018.