Shingles is a common infection caused by the same virus that leads to chickenpox. Shingles affect skin nerves resulting in a painful red rash. Like chickenpox, shingles can also cause a fever and generally poor health. Yet, differently to chickenpox, the shingles rash is far more painful in comparison to chickenpox which is usually itchy. The shingles rash stays within one single area, unlike chickenpox which often spreads around the body. Shingles is a common condition that will, at some point, affect up to 1 in 4 older adults. If not dealt with or vaccinated ahead of time, shingles can be fatal to elderly people over 70..
What are the shingles symptoms?
The shingles symptoms are:
- – Tingling, burning, or painful single area of skin
- – Headache
- – Feeling unwell
- – A rash (appears 2-4 days after the above symptoms).
Does shingles last long?
Shingles can last up to a month. Nonetheless, the infected area of the skin can remain painful for several weeks following the virus. You are infectious whilst the rash is open meaning you should remain away from people until the rash has subsided.
If you have shingles it is vital to keep others safe. Make sure you remain distanced from people who:
– Are pregnant or have recently given birth
– Suffer from a weakened immune system
– Have not suffered from chickenpox
– Newborn babies
The shingles vaccine
The shingles vaccine is a one-off injection into the arm and works to massively reduce the risk of developing shingles. It is possible to contract shingles multiple times. The vaccine aids you by boosting your immune system against further attacks. There is a possibility of some post-vaccine effects. Following the shingles vaccine, it is possible that some chickenpox symptoms arise, but this far from common.
Can I get the vaccine?
The NHS provides the shingles vaccine for people aged 70 years old, and it is common to receive the vaccine at the same time as the flu jab. If you missed out on the shingles vaccine when you were 70 do not worry!
– It is possible to receive the vaccine from the ages of 70-80.
– If you are under the age of 70 and over the age of 50, you will be able to receive the shingles vaccine but it will have to be through a private service.
– For people over the age of 80, you can still privately receive the vaccine but it is usually less effective.
You should not have the shingles vaccine if you:
– Have a weakened immune system
– Have had an organ transplant
– Are/have been allergic to the chickenpox vaccine
– Have Tuberculosis
It is vital to speak to your GP before you book a shingles vaccine.
For a shingles vaccine in Birmingham, come to Kings Pharmacy! Contact us today for all the information you’ll need to book an appointment!