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FAQ

Do only adults get shingles?

Page last updated 03 April 2020

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 of getting shingles or having a more severe form of the disease is much higher.

Sources & Citations

1. Australian Government, Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. Zoster (herpes zoster). Available at: https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/vaccine-preventable-diseases/zoster-herpes-zoster (accessed 19 March 2020).

2. Australian Government, Department of Health. Shingles (herpes zoster). Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/shingles-herpes-zoster (Accessed 19 March 2020).

7. National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance. Herpes zoster factsheet. Available at: http://www.ncirs.org.au/sites/default/files/2018-12/zoster-vaccine-fact-sheet.pdf (Accessed 19 March 2020).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0180(1)a - Date of preparation March 2020

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