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FAQ

What is shingles?

Page last updated 03 April 2020

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 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).

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

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