Andi Peters, 50, was forced to take sick leave for the first time in 20 years at the beginning of this year after contracting shingles. Shingles is an infection that causes a painful rash.
As he steps into Lorraine Kelly’s shoes to host ITV’s Lorraine for the next two weeks, the presenter revealed his worries over coronavirus after contracting the illness.
He said: “My 2020 has been ridiculous, it started with shingles for two weeks. The team were very supportive, even Piers [Morgan] was worried.
“I was lucky, I had it quite bad but not as bad as some people, who have no nerve endings for months.
“I was very worried that after that, my immune system would be really, really low and I would be more susceptible to coronavirus.
“Plus, we now know, being black and a man, you are more susceptible to it and you are a lot more at risk if you do catch it.”
Lucky for Andi, Dr Hilary Jones was on hand to issue advice.
He continued: “Dr Hilary said because I had had shingles my immune system would be really strong at anything else because it had to be at its highest to get rid of the shingles.
“That was really comforting because I was so worried.”
How do you know if you have shingles?
The first signs of shingles are listed by the NHS as:
- A tingling or painful feeling in an area of skin
- A headache or feeling generally unwell
A few days later a rash usually appears.
Usually you get shingles on your chest and tummy, but it can appear on your face, eyes and genitals.
The health body adds: “The shingles rash appears as red blotches on your skin, on one side of your body only. A rash on both the left and right of your body is unlikely to be shingles.
“The blotches become itchy blisters that ooze fluid. A few days later, the blisters dry out and scab.
“The rash can form a cluster that only appears on one side of your body. The skin remains painful until after the rash has gone.
“Shingles can also make your eye red and sore, affect your sight or hearing, or make it difficult to move one side of your face.”
If you suspect you have shingles you should get advice from 111 as soon as possible.
You may need medicine to help speed up your recovery and avoid longer-lasting problems.
This works best if taken within three day of your symptoms starting.
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