The virus that gave you chickenpox as a kid can rise again after decades of inactivity and inflict a painful, even blinding, eye infection in old age.
New research reveals that cases of eye-based “shingles” have tripled since 2004.
Exactly what is driving the increase remains unclear. What is clear, however, is that either of two vaccines could prevent many cases of shingles.
The problem? Relatively few Americans have been vaccinated.
“Shingles is a recurrence of pre-existing varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection, which patients likely first got when they had chickenpox earlier in life,” said study lead author Dr. Nakul Shekhawat, an ophthalmologist with Kellogg Eye Center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.