Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone has been hospitalized with a severe case of the shingles virus and will take a break from his schedule for the next few weeks to recover, city officials said Tuesday.
Although Curtatone is no longer contagious, the virus has affected his eye and inner ear, which controls balance, officials said in a statement. He will focus on recovering before beginning to work remotely in the coming days, officials said.
“Of course, should his recovery go more quickly, he will return to his full schedule sooner,’’ the statement said.
The mayor will have to miss a number of upcoming public events, including Wednesday’s launch of the city’s climate action plan, Somerville Climate Forward. His wife, Nancy, will share a message on Curtatone’s behalf at the event, officials said.
The shingles virus is the same one that causes chicken pox, but the illness itself is not life-threatening, the statement said. It affects an estimated 1 million people in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The statement said “it can be quite painful, and in rare cases, the inner ear and facial nerves are affected, as is the case with Mayor Curtatone.’’
Curtatone will probably wear an eye patch to protect his affected eye, but he is not expected to attend public events or work from his office at City Hall for the next few weeks, the statement said.