Shingles which is caused by the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus) is typically characterised by a painful blistering rash, on one side of the body.1,2 Other symptoms include headaches, sensitivity to light, upset stomach, and fever. Shingles most commonly occurs in patients ≥50 years of age and almost all older adults are at risk of shingles.1,3,4
There is no cure for shingles but seeking treatment as soon as possible can help speed up recovery. Ideally, one should receive shingles treatment within 72 hours of developing symptoms.5
There are also preventative options which can protect a person from developing shingles symptoms and complications in the first place.6
Stress relief and healthy lifestyle habits (e.g. nutrient rich diets, regular exercise, as well as abstinence from alcohol and smoking) can help increase immunity. However, the most effective prevention method against shingles is vaccination.7
How do vaccines work?
When a vaccine is administered, the body’s immune system is triggered to produce virus-fighting cells that increase the body’s immunity against a particular disease.8,9
Is shingles vaccination recommended?
Yes, the US CDC recommends vaccination to prevent shingles and related complications in adults 50 years and older.4 The Society of Infectious Diseases of Singapore (SIDS) also recommends vaccination to prevent shingles in older adults.8
Stop the story before it begins. Speak to your doctor about shingles prevention.
- Chen L-K, et al. BMC Infect Dis. 2017; 17:213. doi: 10.1186/s12879-017-2198-y.
- Chen Q, et al. Dermatologica Sin. 2015;33(4):201-205.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Herpes Zoster (Shingles). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/shingles/hcp/clinical-overview.html. Accessed May 2022.
- Harpaz R et al. MMWR Recomm Rep 2008;57:1-30; quiz CE2-4.
- Healthline. Shingles. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/shingles. Accessed June 2022.
- Medical News Today. Shingles. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/shingles-treatment#treatments. Accessed June 2022.
- Verywellhealth.com. Shingles prevention. Available at: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-effective-is-the-shingles-vaccine-2224167. Accessed June 2022.
- Society of Infectious Disease (Singapore). Handbook on adult vaccination in Singapore 2020. Available at: http://www.sids.org.sg/publications. Accessed April 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US). Understanding how vaccines work. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/conversations/understanding-vacc-work.html. Accessed April 2022.
- OSF Healthcare systems. How vaccines work to protect us. Available at: https://www.osfhealthcare.org/blog/how-vaccines-work-to-protect-us/. Accessed May 2022.
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