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Shingles explained as Holly Willoughby takes time off from This Morning

The infection, which results in a painful rash, is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.


Holly Willoughby is off from presenting This Morning for a “few days” due to having shingles.

The ITV talk show host has been away during the Easter holidays along with Phillip Schofield whom the programme said is returning this week.

In an Instagram post, Willoughby: “Hi… Just to let you know I may be away for the rest of the week as I have shingles… I’ll be back as soon as I’m better. Huge love, Holly.”

The Hit List presenter and former The Saturdays singer Rochelle Humes will be in the studio alongside Schofield to host in Willoughby’s absence.

But what is shingles?

Here is what you need to know:

Shingles is an infection that produces a painful rash on the body and is caused by the chickenpox virus, according to the NHS.

It is common to get the shingles rash on the chest or abdomen but it can appear anywhere on the body including the face, eyes and genitals, the health service said.

According to the Shingles Support Society (SSS), red patches are usually the first sign of the rash appearing but there may also be itching, tingling or burning under the skin, pain around the area and “fluid-filled blisters” that burst and turn into sores before they dry out.

The virus hides away in the body and can appear again at any age. When this happens, we call it shingles

Around 194,000 people in England and Wales get shingles every year, the SSS website said.

The charity added: “We call it chickenpox when we first catch it.

“The virus hides away in the body and can appear again at any age. When this happens, we call it shingles.

“This can be at any age but it is more likely to occur as we get older.”

The rash can take up to five weeks to heal.

People are urged to call 111 or visit the doctor as soon as they suspect shingles as they might need medication.

For treating shingles at home, the NHS website advises taking paracetamol, keeping the rash clean and dry, wearing loose-fitting clothes and using a cool compress a few times a day.

It warns against letting dressings or plasters stick to the rash or using antibiotic cream.

The health service also urges those infected to stay away from certain groups of people to avoid spreading chickenpox, including pregnant people who have not had chickenpox before, people with a weakened immune system and babies less than one month old.

A vaccination is available on the NHS for people in their 70s.



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