Shingles is an infection caused by the Herpes Varicella-Zoster virus which is also responsible for causing chickenpox. Chickenpox is very common as a child and once the infection has gone it remains dormant in the body with your immune system keeping the virus in check. A reactivation of this virus can occur in some instances which then leads to shingles.
Shingles vaccines is not a travel related vaccine but is a popular vaccine to protect the elderly and those not covered under the NHS against the shingles disease.
The symptoms of shingles can vary in severity however the symptoms are very uncomfortable to deal with. Typically only one side of the body will be affected and can include a painful rash and the blistering of skin. Individuals affected with shingles may also have a high temperature or fever. There is no cure for shingles and it can be unpleasant. The painful rash lasts for around 7-10 days and it can take 2-4 weeks to fully feel fit again. Anti-virals may sometimes be prescribed by the GP to help treat the symptoms.
The shingles vaccine (Zostavax) has been proven to reduce the chances of getting shingles by more than 50%. If shingles still develop after the vaccine it is thought the condition is milder and last for a much shorter time than usual. The shingles vaccine currently does not require a booster and therefore it is thought that vaccination against shingles will last a lifetime.
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