Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Elderly couple.

Shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash. It is caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Nearly 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. Anyone who has had chickenpox or received chickenpox vaccine in the past may develop shingles. Even children can get shingles. However, the risk of getting the disease increases as you get older. About half of all cases occur in men and women who are 60 years old or older... more

Shingles Topics

Couple. About Shingles

Describes the disease, symptoms, how it spreads, possible complications, treatment and prevention, photos of shingles...

In this 2006 photograph a middle-aged woman was receiving an intramuscular vaccination into her left shoulder muscle from a female nurse. Vaccination

General information about the shingles vaccine, vaccine safety, who should and should not be vaccinated, vaccination information for healthcare professionals...


Information about shingles rates, hospitalizations, deaths, trends, vaccination rates...

Healthcare professional. For Healthcare Professionals

Information for healthcare professional on clinical features, complications, transmission, risk factors, rates and trends...

Young woman sitting by microscope, writing, side view Laboratory Testing

Guidelines for collecting specimens for VZV testing, specimen collection form, instructions for shipping specimens to the CDC National VZV Laboratory...

Books.Resources and References

General resources and references, clinical education, media resources...


Lists a feature story, podcasts, app, and a web button related to shingles...

Did you know?

Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in the body. For reasons that are not fully known, the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles. Shingles is not caused by the same virus that causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease.


Want to Know More About Shingles?

image of mobile devices

Download CDC’s mobile app now!
Click “Disease of the Week,” find shingles, and take the quiz to test your knowledge!
Available on iOS, Android and Windows 8 tablets

Shingles Vaccination

Shingles vaccine.

Almost 1 out of 3 people in America will develop shingles (herpes zoster) during their lifetime. The only way to reduce the risk of developing shingles is to get vaccinated. Adults 60 years old or older should receive one dose of the shingles vaccine.


External Web Site Policy This symbol means you are leaving the Web site. For more information, please see CDC's Exit Notification and Disclaimer policy.

Copyrighted images: Images on this website which are copyrighted were used with permission of the copyright holder and are not in the public domain. CDC has licensed these images for use in the materials provided on this website, and the materials in the form presented on this website may be used without seeking further permission. Any other use of copyrighted images requires permission from the copyright holder.

Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
    Contact CDC-INFO

CDC Commentary: Don’t Give In and Give Those Antibiotics! The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #