Are you protected against shingles?

Do you know about shingles? Quebecers underestimate this little-known disease, believes Cindy Caron, community pharmacy nurse.

She answers five big questions on the subject.

• Read also: Vulnerable people will be able to get vaccinated against shingles for free

Who can get shingles?

“Almost 46% of people think they won’t get the disease because they have always been healthy, fit and take care of themselves, but don’t realize that shingles is a virus that we already carry within ourselves. It’s the famous tingle that we got when we were young,” she says.

What is shingles?

“These are skin rashes that will make little bubbles called vesicles and they are filled with fluid and that’s what is contagious,” explains the nurse.

She specifies that the pain “feels like stabbings” and can even cause complications such as bacterial superinfection or facial paralysis.

Is it contagious?

“You can’t get shingles from touching these blisters, but you could get chickenpox if you’ve never had it,” says Ms. Caron.

How to protect yourself against illness?

“There is only one way to avoid it and that is vaccination. We have an excellent vaccine in Quebec to protect against shingles,” she concludes.

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