Expert advice

Shingles: risk factors, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Shingles often occurs in older people and those who are immunocompromised. Find out about possible complications and vaccination advice for those over 70

Shingles often occurs in older people and those who are immunocompromised. Find out about possible complications and vaccination advice for those over 70

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it.

It is caused by the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox, says the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

How common is it?

Following a chickenpox infection, the virus remains dormant in the dorsal root ganglia and reactivates when the immune system is weakened, often years or even decades later.

It is estimated around one in four people will have at least one episode of

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