Shingles

What is Shingles?

Herpes-zoster (shingles) is rash caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), people who have had chickenpox are at risk of developing shingles as the virus can reactivate years later.

One in three people will develop shingles in their lifetime. As a person gets older, the risk of getting shingles increases.

What are the symptoms ?

Shingles is a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body. The rash forms blisters that typically scab over in seven to 10 days and clear up within two to four weeks.

Although most people recover within a few weeks, some go on to develop chronic nerve pain called post herpectic neuralgia. This may be severe and can sometimes go on for months.

How to prevent it?

A dose of shingles vaccine can be given to adults aged 50 years and over.

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National Shingles Vaccination Program

The shingles vaccine is provided free for people aged 70 years as part of the National Immunisation Program

There is also a five-year catch-up program for people aged 71 – 79 years, running until 31 October 2021. To receive the immunisation, visit your local doctor or vaccination provider