(NBC)— NBC 5 producer Bridget Minogue was shocked when she was diagnosed with shingles two weeks ago.
“My gland under my chin was as big as a golf ball,” Minogue said, explaining the symptoms she woke up with on New Year’s Eve. “It was so swollen and I had a little spot underneath my neck,.”
In her 40’s,, Minogue went to the doctor and was stunned at the diagnosis.
“He said, ‘I think you have an early sign of shingles,’ and I said, ‘no way! I’m too young,’ and he said, ‘actually, you’re not.'”
Shingles and chickenpox originate from the same varicella-zoster virus.
“People who had chickenpox as a child, about half of us will get shingles at some point in our lives,” said Dr. David Schwartz, Chair of Infectious Diseases at Cook County Health.
Even when one recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in the nervous system. It can pick any nerve ending in your body to reappear, often in the form of a very painful rash.
“The pain kicked in and the third day was probably the worst,” Minogue said.
Two vaccines have earned FDA approval to prevent shingles. The newest one, Shingrix, was in such high demand in 2019, its manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline had to increase production. Shingrix is approved for people age 50 and older.
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