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Shingles health centre

Shingles overview

About three people in every 1,000 in the UK get shingles every year. Shingles is a viral infection caused by the chickenpox virus. Symptoms include pain and a rash on one side of the body. It usually affects older adults with weak immune systems.

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Promising treatment for chronic shingles pain

A new drug treatment has been found to be effective against postherpetic neuralgia - chronic pain resulting from nerve damage caused by shingles.

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Is shingles contagious?

You can get shingles only if you have already had chickenpox. Sometimes people think they haven't had chickenpox, but they may have been too young to remember having the disease, or they may have had such a mild case that it wasn't diagnosed at the time.

The herpes varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox retreats to nerves located near the spine, where the virus remains dormant until it re-emerges as shingles, often during a period of stress or weakened immunity.

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