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A 30-year-old member asked:

Can you get chickenpox twice?

4 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Miller
Dr. David Milleranswered
Family Medicine 10 years experience
Not really: Typically you can only get chicken pox once. After that you can get a second type of infection from the same virus called shingles. Shingles is a painful rash that follows a nerve track along the surface of your body. The varicella vaccine can help to prevent both of these diseases.
Dr. Kevin Windisch
Pediatrics 25 years experience
Yes: If for some reason you don't producce an adequate immune response, especially in children with their first infection under 6 months of age, it is not unusual to get a second infection if you aren't later vaccinated on schedule.
Dr. Scott Katz
Dr. Scott Katz commented
Pediatrics 26 years experience
Typically the second infection is not as serious. Sometimes it is difficult to even recognize that it is a chicken pox infection.
Dec 3, 2011
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Yes: I have read of a small fraction of the population that has trouble developing immunity to this virus that may have repeated attacks. Infants who have it in their first year may only develop partial immunity&have it again. In many cases what was thought was chicken pox in the past may have been another of the blistering ailments like hand/foot/mouth virus.
Dr. Robert Jackson
Dermatology 43 years experience
No: The second time will be shingles which is reactivation of chickenpox.

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Similar questions

A 47-year-old member asked:

Is it possible to get chickenpox twice?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Immunity with 1st: Chickenpox will confer immunity with the first infection. There are some times when this may not be permanent, as when an infant gets it before 6m when maternal antibody may interfere with antibody production. There are many rash producing processes that may mimic chickenpox & these probably account for what many think as a first or repeat case.
A 35-year-old member asked:

Can you get chickenpox more than once? If so, how?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Unlikely to happen: There are rare cases that reflect poor immune response to the first or any varicella infection in a handful of people. There are also reports suggesting a kid with chickenpox as an infant <1yr, might get again later. In normal people, the illness confers lifelong immunity.

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Last updated Feb 26, 2019

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