Warning to over 50s who had Covid in last six months over risk of another virus

ANYONE over 50 who had Covid in the last six months is at increased risk of another illness, a study has found.

People who fall into this category could find they develop shingles in the months after beating off Omicron.

People who had Covid in the last six months are at greater risk of becoming ill with ShinglesCredit: Getty – Contributor

Research published in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases said even patients with a mild case were at greater risk than those who had not been infected with Covid.

Those who were hospitalised with a severe case of coronavirus are more at risk, at 21 per cent more likely to develop shingles.

Omicron is a milder strain of Covid, especially in the vaccinated.

Most people recover from the bug after a few days of rest at home.

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Shingles is caused by an infection that re-triggers the varicella zoster virus (VZV).

VZV firsts infects the body when you get chickenpox, and the virus can remain inactive in nerve cells to reappear as shingles.

It is thought that catching Covid can be a trigger to reactive the virus, with older people more at risk.

The most common first signs of shingles are tingling or pains in patches of the skin, with a headache.

A rash can then start to crop up, usually on the chest or stomach — but it can also appear on the face, eyes and genitals, according to the NHS.

A shingles rash appears as red blotches on your skin, on one side of your body only.

So it’s important to know a rash on both the left and right of your body is unlikely to be shingles.

The blotches become itchy blisters that ooze fluid, before the blisters dry out and scab a few days later.

The rash can form a band that only appears on one side of your body, and even when it has gone it can still be painful.

You should speak to a GP as soon as you suspect you have shingles as medication can speed up recovery.

This works best if it’s taken within three days of symptoms starting.

However it’s best to have an appointment over the phone, to avoid coming into contact with someone more vulnerable.

It comes after a recent study found people who caught Covid were at higher risk of a number of conditions for the next 12 months.

Even those who didn’t have an illness severe enough to be hospitalised could develop problems.

Included in the list was blood clots, which can be life threatening if not treated quickly.

Any blood clots that form in arteries (arterial clots) or veins (venous clots) can be serious – especially if they then move into organs like the lungs or heart.

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The research, published in Nature Medicine, warned long-term effects of Covid could be seen in the heart and vascular system.

These include cardiac arrest, heart failure, stroke, irregular heart rhythms, blood clots, blood vessel diseases and inflammation disorders.

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