Shingles

Shingles (also known as Shingles Herpes Zoster) is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV) -the same virus which causes chickenpox.
  • Symptoms The first signs of shingles can be an itching, tingling or painful feeling in an area of skin and a headache/generally feeling unwell. The rash (fluid-filled blisters) forms a few days later on one side of the body, commonly on the chest or stomach, and can be intensely painful.
  • How do you catch Shingles? After having chickenpox, the VZV remains dormant in the nervous system. Most cases occur at a later stage in life or when the immune system is lowered.
  • Incubation period Shingles can occur at any time; initial symptoms can appear 1-5 days before the rash develops.
  • Diagnosis Based on symptoms and the appearance of the rash.

Prevention

Vaccination is the only preventative measure in place against shingles. It can significantly reduce the risk of Post Herpetic Neuralgia.

Treatment

There is no cure, treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms of the disease. If seen early on by a GP, antivirals can be prescribed to speed recovery.

Vaccination options

The shingles vaccine can be offered at MASTA to adults aged 50yrs+ or older

Level of protection: varies: approx. 71% aged 50yrs, decreasing with age thereafter

Protection duration: uncertain, studies are ongoing; thought to be at least 5-10 years

How is it given: Single injection.

£170.00 Pricing shown is per dose

  • You cannot catch shingles from anyone else, but you can catch chickenpox from someone who currently has shingles (while the rash is still oozing fluid) if you haven’t had chickenpox before.
  • Post Herpetic Neuralgia is pain at the site which lasts for more than 90 days after the rash first appears. It is more common in older people.
  • Shingles in pregnancy is not a danger to the mother or unborn baby, but antiviral treatment may be needed.
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