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A 42-year-old member asked:

Could someone get shingles without ever having chicken pox?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Not really: Shingles is a pattern illness where the virus reactivates from its hibernation spot in the nerves. More than 90% of adults who think they never had Cpx show positive blood evidence.Some even get Cpx in the womb, and survive with no knowledge it ever happened.A blood test can show someone had it, if that is the question.
Dr. J. Lawrence Dohan
Dermatology 57 years experience
Except the rare case of simultaneous zoster + varicella seen in a child getting chicken pox. But the chicken pox always comes first.
May 25, 2014

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Similar questions

A 36-year-old member asked:

Do people ever get shingles without ever having chicken pox?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Not likely: I can think of only one sceinerio that could occur.If your mother had chickenpox during pregnancy, it could have passed to you and remained in hibernation many years and come out as shingles.Most (90%) of adults who think they never had cpx have blood evidence that they did.If you truly never did, you should get the vaccine, it is a nasty disease in adults with occasionally fatal outcome.
A 38-year-old member asked:

Can someone get get shingles if not had chicken pox?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Garcia
Pediatrics 56 years experience
Shingles: Shingles or herpes zoster is caused by a reactivated chickenpox (varicella) virus that has gone dormant after the initial varicella infection. So the answer to your question is no.
India
A 23-year-old member asked:

Can you get shingles/chicken pox from showering in the same shower as someone who has it?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Unlikely to happen: Herpes zoster (shingles) is the chicken pox virus, so a person with zoster can touch any normal person (not immunocompromised, not on prednisone, not a baby) who has immunity to the virus from a past vaccination or a past case of chicken pox or zoster, and not give chicken pox to the person he touches. It is very unlikely to catch the virus from a shower stall if showering separately.
CA
A 25-year-old member asked:

Is it possible to get shingles without having had chicken pox?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bonnie Bock
Infectious Disease 47 years experience
Yes and no: Chickenpox usually precedes shingles by many years or decades. However, chicken pox can be very mild, and not diagnosed, or the illness may be forgotten. An infection with chicken pox virus, whether a classical illness with many lesions, or a few lesions, always precedes shingles. A shingles vaccine or adults over 50 or 60 years, reduces the severity and incidence of shingles.
A 34-year-old member asked:

Is is possible for a 2 yr old to have shingles without ever having chicken pox?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Complex issue: To have shingles, a patient must have acquired the chickenpox germ. It is possible that a mother has a light or unrecognized case of it during pregnancy and the germ passes to baby unnoticed. A baby could also have a light case that is unrecognized in the first months.That baby has the germ in its system and could have shingles. I've seen it in a 15 mo.

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Last updated Feb 13, 2019

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