Shingles (also called herpes zoster) is a disease that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Most of us have had chickenpox when we were younger, even if we did not know we had had it. The virus stays in our bodies for the rest of our lives and can reactivate when we get older, causing shingles.
Shingles is caused by the reactivation of an infection of a nerve and causes a range of symptoms, depending on where it appears on your body. These often include a rash and clusters of painful, itchy, fluid-filled blisters. Eyesight can also be affected, if it develops in the eye. It can leave people with on-going, severe pain called post-herpetic neuralgia. This pain can last for several months or even years and can be bad enough to need to be admitted to hospital.
About one in five people who have had chickenpox develop shingles. It is more common in people over 70 years old and this is why the age group eligible for the routine vaccination program is patients aged 70,71,72,73,74,75,78 or 79 years on 1st September 2017.
If you would like the Shingles Vaccine, please contact the surgery to make an appointment with the Practice Nurse.