What is Shingles?
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
Zostavax is a vaccine used to prevent shingles and its complications. It is a live, attenuated vaccine that helps boost immunity against the varicella-zoster virus, reducing the risk of shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia.
How to Prevent Shingles?
Prevention of Shingles includes maintaining a healthy immune system, practicing good hygiene, avoiding close contact with individuals who have shingles, and vaccination.
Is Shingles (ZostaVax) Vaccine Necessary?
The Zostavax vaccine was an earlier version of the shingles vaccine, but is no longer recommended as the preferred option for prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health authorities recommend Shingrix, a non-live, recombinant vaccine that offers higher efficacy and longer-lasting protection compared to Zostavax.
Shingrix vaccine is highly effective in reducing the risk of developing shingles and its complications. The decision to get the Shingrix vaccine before traveling depends on several factors, including age, immunization history, destination, and individual health status.
In general, the Shingrix vaccine is primarily recommended for individuals aged 50 years and older to prevent shingles. If you are planning to travel and meet the age criteria for the vaccine, it may be worth considering vaccination, especially if you haven’t received it before.
To find out if your destination(s) require the Shingles (Shingrix) vaccine, consult a Rockdoc Travel Medicine Professional here.
We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the provided information, however, it is not feasible for us to update daily. Please book a virtual consultation with one of our Travel Medicine Professionals for current, personalized advice and answers to any questions you may have.
Is Shingles Serious Disease?
Symptoms of Shingles include:
- Rash: Hallmark symptom of shingles is a painful, blistering rash that typically appears in a single band or cluster on one side of the body, often on the torso or face.
- Pain: Before rash appears, may experience pain, tingling, or a burning sensation in the affected area.
- Blisters: The rash develops into fluid-filled blisters that eventually break open and form scabs.
- Sensitivity and itching to affected area
- Flu-like symptoms: fever, fatigue, and body aches.
Severity and duration of shingles symptoms can vary from person to person.
The most common post-shingles complication, post-herpetic neuralgia, can cause lasting pain in areas of skin, but many make full recoveries within a year.
If you suspect you have shingles, it’s advisable to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Available travel vaccinations and medications
We offer the following travel vaccinations and medications:
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We know how hard it can be for Canadians to get the healthcare they need, when they need it. That’s why Rockdoc is on a mission to help Canadians navigate healthcare. We have decades of experience providing emergent, urgent, and continuing healthcare services and solutions – meeting and exceeding the standard of care for our patients and our communities.
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