Herpes-zoster (Shingles)

Your health matters to us

An overarching goal of the National Health Co-op is to significantly reduce instances of preventable diseases and lessen the personal and societal impact of chronic conditions. That’s why we regularly review our patients’ files to identify individuals who may benefit from additional clinical support.

Herpes-zoster (Shingles)

Herpes-zoster (Shingles) is a painful blistering skin rash resulting from a reactivation of the Varicella zoster virus – the same virus that causes chickenpox. The shingles rash occurs when previously inactive chickenpox virus becomes reactivated in the nerve tissue, causing inflammation of the nerves. Significant pain in the affected region could be severe and prolonged (known as post herpetic neuralgia).

Although less common as compared to post herpetic neuralgia, other potential complications of shingles include scarring of the skin, skin infections, loss of vision or hearing, pneumonia, and nervous complications.

Shingles is now vaccine preventable. Immunisation against shingles is achieved by 1 dose of Zostavax (Shingles vaccine). Under the National Immunisation Program (NIP), Zostavax is now FREE for people aged 70 years. Under the NIP, there is also a five year catch-up program for people aged 71-79 years. If you would like to receive this vaccine, please make an appointment with one of our GPs.

Further information about the herpes-zoster virus can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website.