The Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) produces two separate conditions known as Chicken Pox (Varicella) and Shingles (Herpes Zoster). Shingles (Herpes Zoster) is the manifestation of the Varicella-Zoster virus, which remains latent within the body following Chicken Pox and reactivates later on in life. Therefore, only people who have had chicken pox can develop shingles and shingles cannot be caught from someone with chicken pox. A major risk factor for both the severity of shingles is age. Immunity begins to drop more sharply from 50 years of age and relates to the decrease of specific cellular immunity to the varicella-zoster virus.
Shingles mainly occurs in the elderly. The risk of developing shingles approximately doubles every decade after the age of 50. 1 in four Adults will develop Shingles in their lifetime (If they have had Chicken Pox).
No, it is not possible to contract shingles from contact with a case of chickenpox. But it's possible for someone to contract chickenpox from contact with someone who has shingles.
* Please note that vaccine cost is the cost per dose to have the vaccine with a nurse and not a GP. There is an additional fee of £25 for the vaccine to be administered by a GP. Also, the number of doses required indicates the number of doses for a standard course. For instance, an accelerated course can impact the number of doses required.
The vaccine is offered to older people on the NHS to anyone who is aged 70,78 and 79. There is only a need of one dose of the shingles vaccine.
For more information please visit - www.shinglesaware.co.uk