Shingles is a common virus, affecting 1 in 3 people in the United States during their lifetime. It is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus responsible for chicken pox. After a person has chicken pox, the virus remains dormant in the body but can reactivate later in life which leads to shingles. The most common complication from shingles is post-herpetic neuralgia (pain from the shingles rash), which can be very severe and debilitating. Another serious complication is herpes zoster ophthalmicus, which is when herpes zoster affects the eye or area around the eye.
One dose of the shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine is recommended for adults 60 and older.