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Health officials remind people to get vaccinated against shingles

A person administering a vaccine in someone's arm.
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The shingles vaccine is a series of 2 shots.

March is Shingles Awareness Month and area health officials are reminding people to get vaccinated against the disease.

Shawnna Rhine, with the Southern 7 Health Department, said shingles can be incredibly painful and cause health complications later in life. She said there are certain symptoms that indicate shingles.

"You'll have a painful rash, often time it occurs as a single strip on either the left or right side of your face or your body. And on the face it can affect your eyes and even cause vision loss, so you want to be careful with that. The other thing with shingles, is that usually you do form some kind of blisters," Rhine said.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, and anyone who had chicken pox as a child could go on to develop shingles later in life. Rhine said 1 in 3 Americans will have shingles at some point in their life, and the health department recommends everyone who can get vaccinated do so.

Currently, the CDC recommends the shingles vaccine for adults age 50 and older.

Steph Whiteside is a Digital Media News Specialist with WSIU radio in Carbondale, Ill. She previously worked as a general reporter at AJ+ and Current TV.
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