Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus. While the virus may be present in the body, it can lie dormant and never lead to shingles symptoms. It is not known why the virus flares up when it does. Who does shingles affect?
- Most often adults, though young adults and children can get shingles
- Individuals with weakened immune systems
Stress is thought to be another trigger.
It’s important to note that the skin condition shingles cannot be passed from person to person, but the virus that causes the shingles outbreak can be.
If someone has had chickenpox in their lifetime, the virus already lives within them, and can potentially flare up at any time. However, if someone who has never had chickenpox comes in contact with someone who is suffering from a blistering shingles rash, they can contract the virus from the fluid in the blisters.