Who can get shingles?

Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. It is a fact that one in four people will get shingles at some point in their lives. Some people develop shingles several times during their lives.

There is usually no triggering factor to explain shingles, other than the immune system naturally deteriorating as we get older. At some point the immune system is simply no longer capable of keeping the dormant chickenpox virus in check and preventing it from becoming reactivated. It is not possible to predict whether or when the virus will be reactivated.

Natural ageing is the main risk factor for shingles. The risk of getting shingles increases markedly after the age of 50, and two-thirds of people who develop shingles are over the age of 50.