Shingles recurrences may be more common than previously recorded

RECURRENT episodes of shingles in immunocompetent patients may be more common than previously reported, researchers say. 

Findings of a US population-based study suggest herpes zoster vaccination should be offered to all patients after a herpes zoster (HZ) bout to prevent further episodes. 

The study of nearly 1700 people with HZ found a 5.7% recurrence rate in immunocompetent patients, and 6.2% in all patients, after eight years’ follow-up. 

HZ recurrences were almost three times more likely in patients with zoster-associated pain of 30 days or more during the initial episode and twice as likely in immunocompromised patients, the researchers found. 

“Our high HZ recurrence rates suggest that zoster vaccination should be offered in people who have had an HZ episode to prevent potential recurrences,” the authors said. 

“For many people, HZ is not a once-in-a-lifetime event,

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