Justin Bieber was recently forced to cancel many of his upcoming tour dates, as he has been dealing with a shingles-based facial paralysis, called Ramsey-Hunt Syndrome. Similarly, Dianne Feinstein, a senator from California, announced that she has also contracted shingles.
With so many famous cases, you may find yourself wondering: what is shingles and how does it begin?
Shingles is the result of a dormant infection from the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox. Following, any person who has contracted chicken pox is also at risk of developing shingles at some point in their life. The CDC estimates that just under 150,000 Americans contract the chicken pox, each year.
In some cases, like Bieber’s, the virus manifests as Ramsey-Hunt, which causes partial or total facial paralysis, hearing loss, and painful rashes.
Other symptoms of shingles can include:
- Upset stomach
Shingles will usually clear up with medical intervention after approximately 2-3 weeks. Pain medication and antibiotics are often prescribed. Shingles most often affects elder adults, but can occur at any point in a person’s life.
“I need to make my health the priority right now,” Justin Bieber said, when he first revealed his diagnosis. “I’m going to be OK, but I need time to rest and get better. I’ve been so proud to bring this show and our message of justice to the world.”
If you are exhibiting symptoms that you think may be caused by shingles, consult a physician immediately.
Chickenpox Vaccine Saves Lives Infographic | CDC
Justin Bieber and Dianne Feinstein got shingles. What causes it? (msn.com)
Justin Bieber Abruptly Cancels Shows Due to Debilitating Illness (msn.com)
Feature Article: Chickenpox, Shingles and … Justin Bieber? | Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (chop.edu)
Signs and Symptoms of Shingles (Herpes Zoster) | CDC