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Empress suffering from shingles after trip to Vietnam, Thailand

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Empress Michiko has been diagnosed as suffering from herpes zoster, or shingles, apparently due to fatigue after she and Emperor Akihito made a weeklong trip to Vietnam and Thailand that ended last week, the Imperial Household Agency said Thursday.

    The 82-year-old empress has suffered from a bout of herpes zoster on the upper part of her belly since Tuesday and has been taking medicine, the agency said, adding she does not have a fever.

    The empress is expected to conduct her duties and attend events as scheduled, the agency said.

    The empress complained of similar symptoms while on her trip to Spain in 1994 and after returning from Brazil and Argentina in 1997, and in both cases she felt exhausted, according to the agency.

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