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FAQ

What is shingles?

Page last updated 21 June 2018

Shingles (also known as herpes zoster), is a disease caused by the virus varicella zoster, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox – this means that it is impossible to contract shingles if you have never contracted chickenpox or have never been exposed to the varicella zoster virus before. 
 

After the initial infection (i.e. chickenpox), the virus lays dormant in the nervous system, but can manifest later as shingles. 

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).
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shingles (herpes zoster) signs and symptoms. Available at:   https://www.cdc.gov/shingles/about/symptoms.html (accessed 16 April 2018).
  3. Health Direct. Shingles. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/shingles (accessed 27 April 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0180a - Date of preparation May 2018

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