What is Shingles?
Shingles, which is also known as Herpes Zoster, is a viral disease caused by reactivation of the same virus that causes chickenpox. It is characterised by a painful rash on one side of the body and occurs more frequently in people over the age of 50.
What causes Shingles?
Once you have had chickenpox, the virus remains dormant (inactive) in your nervous system. It can reactivate later in life and cause Shingles.
95% of adults have had chickenpox. If you have ever had chickenpox, you could be at risk of developing Shingles. Shingles tends to occur more often in older people.
What are the symptoms of Shingles?
✚ Typically, there is a rash on one side of the body, often on the trunk, head and neck or around the eye. The rash turns into painful, ﬂuid-ﬁlled blisters, which burst, dry out and form scabs where the blisters have been.
✚ The symptoms of Shingles can range from mild to severe. It is hard to predict how severe Shingles will be.
✚ Shingles pain is often described as a burning, stabbing pain in the area, Sometimes, even gentle sensations such as the touch of clothing or a light breeze across the skin may cause pain.
What does the Shingles vaccine do?
✚ By having the vaccination you will significantly reduce your chance of developing Shingles. If you go on to develop Shingles the symptoms are likely to be milder and the illness shorter than if you had not had the vaccination.
You can get the Shingles vaccine at any time of the year.
Who should get the Shingles vaccine?
✚ The Shingles vaccine is available without prescription to anyone aged 50 years or older.
✚ Even if you have already had Shingles, the Shingles vaccine is still recommended. The Shingles vaccine works very well in people who have had Shingles before and it will boost your immunity against further Shingles attacks.
✚ The vaccine cannot be given to patients who have a weakened immune system, are allergic to any ingredients in the vaccine, have untreated tuberculosis or are pregnant.
Cost of the vaccine is €195
For more detailed information, talk to one of our Pharmacists or visit http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/S/Shingles/