Shingles is a painful rash localized to one side of the body. It is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in their body and can reactivate as shingles.
Shingles isn’t contagious, but people may get chickenpox from someone with shingles if they’ve never contracted the virus or had the vaccine. The viral infection isn’t life-threatening but can be very painful. Symptoms include burning, tingling, itching and sensitivity to touch.