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FAQ

Do only adults get shingles?

Page last updated 21 June 2018

No. While shingles most commonly affects people over the age of 50 years, it can occur at any age. In particular, it can develop in those who have a weakened immune system and/or those who contracted chickenpox in the first year of life. Older patients who get shingles are more likely to develop a complication called post herpetic neuralgia. This is a painful condition that can last long after the shingles rash has disappeared.

It is estimated that approximately 1 in 3 adults who contract chickenpox will develop shingles at some point in their lifetime. If you have a weakened immune system, your risk is up to 15 times higher than that of the general population. 

Sources & Citations

  1. Australian Government, Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Australian Government, Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition. Zoster (herpes zoster). Available at: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Handbook10-home~handbook10part4~handbook10-4-24 (accessed 16 April 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0180 - Date of preparation May 2018

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