MOST ADULTS OVER 50 CARRY THE VIRUS THAT CAN CAUSE SHINGLES.

AN ESTIMATED 1 IN 3 PEOPLE GET SHINGLES IN THEIR LIFETIME.

IF YOU’VE HAD CHICKENPOX, YOU’RE AT RISK.

SHINGLES CAN BE WHAAAT? PREVENTED

Shingles vaccines can reduce your chances of getting shingles. If you don’t get shingles, you avoid its complications such as long-term nerve pain (called postherpetic neuralgia or PHN).

If you’re 50 years of age or older, make an appointment to get vaccinated.

shingles can be prevented creative shingles can be prevented creative

DISCUSSING PREVENTION
WITH
YOUR DOCTOR

Be prepared to discuss shingles prevention
with your doctor.

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VACCINATED?

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SHINGLES FAQ

What is shingles?

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that typically causes a painful skin rash, often with blisters. It usually affects older adults or people with weak immune systems. The rash typically appears on one side of the face or body and lasts two to four weeks.

A possible consequence of shingles is a chronic, often debilitating pain that can linger after the rash clears up. A less common complication affects the eye in up to one in four cases, and may result in prolonged pain, facial scarring, and in rare instances, vision loss.

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Who is at risk for shingles?

If you’re over 50 years of age, you’re at risk.

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How common is shingles?

An estimated one in three people will get shingles in their lifetime.

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What are some shingles symptoms?

A shingles rash is painful and blistering, usually erupting in a single stripe on either the left or right side of the face or body, along a nerve path. It could develop on the torso, arms, thighs, or head (including the ears or eyes). The most common places are the chest and abdomen. People often describe the pain as aching, burning, stabbing, or shock-like.

RASH

A painful skin rash with blisters can last two to four weeks.

VISION

Less commonly, shingles may affect the eye, causing pain, scarring, and in rare instances, vision loss.

PAIN

A complication of shingles is a chronic, often debilitating pain described as aching, burning, shocking and stabbing that may linger.

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Are there early signs of shingles?

Shingles is identifiable by the way it looks and feels on the body. Early signs of shingles may include:

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Tingling with pain in the area where the rash will develop
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Feeling tired

You could feel some of these symptoms anywhere from one to five days before the rash even appears.

CALL YOUR CLINIC AND ASK ABOUT SHINGLES VACCINATION

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What does shingles look like?

Shingles on the neck and shoulder.

The painful, blistering rash usually erupts in a single stripe on either the left or right side of the face or body, along a nerve path.

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How long does shingles last?

Usually, the rash lasts seven to ten days, and completely heals within two to four weeks.

shingles rash near eye

Shingles may affect the eye, causing pain and, in rare instances, vision loss.

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Can I have shingles without a rash?

Yes. Some people experience shingles pain without developing a rash.

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What causes shingles?

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, also known as the varicella zoster virus. After a person has chickenpox, the virus stays in their body and becomes inactive. Years later, the virus can reactivate, causing shingles (also known as herpes zoster).

Scientists don’t know exactly what causes the virus to reactivate but there may be multiple factors. As a person ages, their immune system begins to weaken and is less likely to prevent the virus from reactivating. That’s why your risk of shingles increases with age. People with weakened immune systems are more likely to get shingles.

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Does stress cause shingles?

Stress can weaken your immune system, but medical studies are not conclusive whether stress increases your risk of shingles.

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What’s the link between chickenpox and shingles?

Chickenpox is a very contagious disease that causes a blister-like rash, itching, and fever. Before the chickenpox vaccine, 90% or more of Canadian children got chickenpox by 12 years of age. The chickenpox virus can reactivate, causing shingles.

If you’re over 50 years of age, you are probably among the 90 percent of people who have the shingles virus, since the virus that causes chickenpox also causes shingles.

Chickenpox

Chickenpox blisters can appear all over the body.

Shingles

Shingles rash typically appears on one side of the body.

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Is shingles contagious?

The virus that causes shingles can be passed from someone who has shingles to anyone who isn’t immune to chickenpox. This typically occurs through direct contact with the fluid of a shingles blister. However, this would result in the person developing chickenpox, not shingles. Once the shingles blisters have developed crusts, they are no longer contagious.

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Are there after-effects of shingles?

Sometimes. A possible consequence of shingles is chronic, often debilitating pain that can linger after the rash clears up. A less common complication affects the eye in up to one in four cases, and may result in prolonged pain, facial scarring, and, in rare instances, vision loss.

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Can shingles be prevented?

Yes! If you’re 50 years of age or older, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about getting vaccinated. Shingles vaccines can reduce your chances of getting shingles. If you don’t get shingles, you avoid its complications such as long-term nerve pain (called postherpetic neuralgia or PHN).

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Who should get a shingles vaccine?

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and the Comité sur l'immunisation du Québec (CIQ) recommend that adults 50 years of age and older be vaccinated against shingles.

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How does vaccination help
prevent shingles?

Shingles vaccines boost your body’s immune system against shingles. As a result, your body is better able to fight off the virus and keep it from reactivating.

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Where can I get a shingles vaccine?

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Visit a clinic near you and ask about shingles vaccination

CALL YOUR CLINIC
AND ASK ABOUT

SHINGLES
VACCINATION

Vaccination may not fully protect all people who are vaccinated. Side effects and allergic reactions may occur. Ask your healthcare professional if shingles vaccination is right for you.