Shingles In Younger Patients

One million people in the United States get shingles each year, mostly people over the age of fifty.

But NewsChannel 10's Felicia Lafuente found out there are more cases of younger people catching the painful skin rash due to stress.

23-year-old Brandi works full time, is about to graduate college, get married, and start a new life all in the next three months.

That stress has added up and caused her to get sick. "The rashes turned to blisters, called my grandpa who is a retired doctor and told him what my symptoms are and he said to go to the doctor immediately, it might be shingles," says Brandi.

She went to the doctor and they told her it was the painful skin rash that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. "I was shocked, I asked isn't is supposed to be an elderly disease."

Although the disease is most commonly found in older people, doctors say anyone can catch it. "Increased stress, that's what triggers it, not enough sleep, not eating right which equals college student especially with finals we see a lot of them," says WTAMU Medical Center Doctor Bonnie Carter.

The best advice is to get plenty of rest, eat well, exercise, and try to keep your stress levels down.