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Shingles Risk Increased For People Over 50 Who Had COVID, Study Says

BOSTON (CBS) -- It's estimated that 30% of people will get shingles at some point in their lifetime and a new study finds that people who have had COVID-19 may be at even higher risk.

Shingles or herpes zoster is an itchy, painful rash that can occur decades after having a case of the chicken pox. Anyone can get it, though it can be triggered by any condition that weakens the immune system. Now a new study finds that people 50 and older diagnosed with COVID-19 have a 15% higher risk of developing shingles within six months.

The risk is even higher for older individuals who were hospitalized with severe COVID. No one in the study had been vaccinated against COVID or shingles, but there is a highly effective shingles vaccine that is recommended for people 50 and older, so if you haven't been vaccinated, consider doing so in the near future, even if you've had shingles in the past.

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