What is the mortality rate for herpes zoster (shingles)?

Updated: Jan 25, 2019
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

It rarely causes fatalities in patients who are immunocompetent, but it can be life-threatening in severely debilitated or immunocompromised patients. Disseminated zoster in immunocompromised patients can lead to death from encephalitis, hepatitis, or pneumonitis. Patients with active lymphoproliferative malignancies are at particular risk. Mortality rate from disseminated herpes zoster is between 5% and 15%. [46]


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