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Acute viral skin and nerve infection. Groups of small blisters appear along certain nerve segments, most often on the back, sometimes after a dull ache at the site; pain becomes more severe when the blisters break out. Caused by the same virus as chickenpox, it probably results from reactivation of seemingly inactive virus in a partially immune person. Spontaneous recovery from the infection usually occurs within two weeks, but neuralgia may last months or even years longer.
Variants of SHINGLES
shingles or herpes zoster
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on shingles, visit Britannica.com.