Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone is not expected to attend public events or work at his City Hall office in the coming weeks due to a severe case of shingles virus.
Mayor Curtatone was recently hospitalized for the shingles virus, which is identical to the one that causes chickenpox. The disease, which affects almost one third of adults in their lifetime, is not life threatening, but it can be very painful and, in rare cases, the inner ear and the facial nerves are affected, as in the case of Mayor Curtatone.
Mayor Curtatone remains in contact with staff and should be able to resume work remotely in the coming days. Although it is no longer contagious, because of its impact on the inner ear, which controls the balance, it can be expected that Mayor Curtatone's busy schedule will be affected for several weeks. Of course, if his recovery was faster, he would get back to his full schedule sooner.
When he resumes his public duties, he will probably wear an eye patch to protect his affected eye. Once he's back to work on the spot, his progress towards a full recovery should extend over the coming months.
He sends his regrets regarding a number of upcoming events that he will likely not be able to attend, including the historic official launch of the city's climate action plan, Somerville Climate Forward, Wednesday, November 28. His wife, Nancy Curtatone, will forward a message from the Mayor on his behalf during the event.
Shingles is the result of a reactivation of the dormant chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster), which remains in the body after younger or earlier cases of chickenpox. Chickenpox was very common, but a vaccine has been registered in the United States since 1995 and a zoster vaccine was approved in the United States in 2006.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), "Children aged 1 to 12 years can receive the MMRV vaccine, a combination vaccine that protects against chickenpox, measles, mumps and rubella. Your child's doctor can recommend the right vaccine for your child. "
The CDC also recommends Shingrix Shingles vaccine for adults 50 years of age and older.
~ City of Somerville