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Shingles and the Immune System

Feature image for "Shingles and the Immune System" blog post. If you are diagnosed with shingles, it means that your immune system is in a weakened state.

Varicella zoster is a highly-infectious virus. It enters through the respiratory tract and from there it will spread all over the body. It can also infect the nervous system. The resulting symptoms are a bout of chickenpox. Many people think that having chickenpox is a one-time disease and that once caught, confers lifetime immunity from a re-occurrence. However, while chickenpox may not recur, the causative virus does not totally leave the body.

Prior to the body’s defenses overcoming the virus, the varicella-zoster virus which causes chicken pox will manage to survive in the body and may reactivate later in life. If it does awaken, it doesn’t cause another episode of chickenpox. Next time, and any time after that, it causes an outbreak of shingles. Educating yourself about the relationship between shingles and the immune system is necessary for overall health.

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