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Doctor insights on: Can You Catch Shingles From Someone Who Has Chickenpox

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Is it possible to catch shingles from someone with chickenpox?

Is it possible to catch shingles from someone with chickenpox?

Shingles: No. Lots of misinformation about shingles and chickenpox. Shingles is just a reactivation of the chickenpox virus. You can catch chicken pox from someone with shingles if you are not immune to the chicken pox, but not vice versa. Nowadays, most infants are vaccinated at 12 months. Adults can receive a booster (shingles vaccine) later in life.

Dr. James Ferguson
746 Doctors shared insights

Chickenpox (Definition)

Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, chicken pox results in a blister rash that starts on the stomach, back, and face and spreads throughout the entire body. These small itchy blisters eventually scab over. Associated symptoms include itching, fatigue, malaise, and a fever. The most effective method to prevent spreading of the varicella virus is ...Read more


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My child has chickenpox, so will I catch shingles from her chickenpox?

My child has chickenpox, so will I catch shingles from her chickenpox?

UNLIKELY: Shingles is a reactivation of the dormant varicella zoster virus living in someone who had chickenpox at a younger age. The trigger for shingles is usually not exposure the virus itself but a stress (e.g. Physical, emotional, etc.) which causes a suppressed immune system allowing the zoster virus to attack nerve (s). Shingles is more common in older people due to waning immunity/antibody levels.

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I have shingles on my face and wondering if kissing my wife who has had chickenpox before can catch shingles from me from kissing.

I have shingles on my face and wondering if kissing my wife who has had chickenpox before can catch shingles from me from kissing.

No: If she's already had chickenpox, the virus is already "hiding" in body. The real risk is to those who have never been vaccinated or contracted chickenpox in the past.

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If I had a weak immune system, could I get shingles from someone who has chickenpox?

If I had a weak immune system, could I get shingles from someone who has chickenpox?

No: You get shingles from a reactivation of prior chickenpox. This may occur if your immune system is weak, but not from an external exposure to cpx.

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Please tell me, could you with a weak immune system get shingles from someone who has chickenpox?

Please tell me, could you with a weak immune system get shingles from someone who has chickenpox?

No: But you could get chickenpox if you never had it. Once you have it then you are at risk of shingles in the future.

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How do you know if someone gets shingles instead of chickenpox?

Shingles/chicken pox: Chicken pox is usually all over the body and associated with fever, illness. Shingles usually is limited to one side of body and one nerve area--segment of face or trunk or arm or leg, and is usually not associated with systemic illness. You usually need to have had chicken pox to get shingles (local reactivation of chicken pox). Your dermatologist can clarify.

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Can you tell me how high are my chances of developing chickenpox from someone with shingles?

Rare but possible: The shingles patient can only spread the germ through contact with the debris, not through saliva or a cough as would be the case with chickenpox.Also, at a listed age of 50, your chance of never having Cpx as a kid are less than 4%, even if you don't remember it. A simple blood test could prove you once had Cpx and are immune.

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I have shingles and someone at work said they think they never had chickenpox will the get them I am worried about them. Didn't have close contact?

Possible: Exposure to a person with Shingles can transmit the virus that causes chickenpox as both are due to the same virus. If your contact did not have chickenpox nor had vaccination for chickenpox s/he is at risk of getting chickenpox.

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Do I have chickenpox or is it shingles?

Location/spread??: Chickenpox is a body wide infection with varicella virus that has come to the skin surface at the end of the prodrome period. The pox come out in crops of new blisters of various size & stage over a 5-7 day period. Shingles is the return of the varicella virus from hibernation in a nerve and limits its pain & blistering to the area of skin supplied by the nerve.

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Is it possible to have the shingles and chickenpox?

Yes and no: Most adults (90%) who do not remember ever having cpx have blood evidence of prior infection. Once in your system, the cpx germ hibernates in nerve roots along the front of your spine and at some point may emerge as shingles. If you had the chickenpox vaccine, but not chickenpox, there is some risk of shingles from the vaccine virus doing the same thing.

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What is the disparity between chickenpox and shingles?

What is the disparity between chickenpox and shingles?

Primary vs return: Chickenpox is the primary infection of a patient by the wild varicella virus.It has an incubation phase, a blood phase, is spread in saliva and in material from the spots all over. After the primary infection it goes into hibernation in nerve clusters along the spinal cord. It can emerge from hibernation years later as a localized outbreak shingles.Then, only debris from the spots has the virus.

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Do people ever get shingles if they never had chickenpox?

Do people ever get shingles if they never had chickenpox?

Yes: More than 50% of chickenpox can present without any symptoms, like the lesions they usually have. So having shingles is a possibility.

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Could I have shingles even if I have never had chickenpox?

Could I have shingles even if I have never had chickenpox?

Possibly: Studies show most adults have blood evidence of a prior cpx infection even if they were never diagnosed. They may have acquired the germ during their mothers pregnancy and never knew it. Anyone with the germ in their system can have shingles at some point. I saw it in an 11 month old whose parent had no knowledge of a prior cpx infection.

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I have never had chickenpox before yet I have shingles... how?

Can happen: You were exposed to the virus, you probably had a subclinical infection, but you were infected, and the virus remained dormant in your body, flared up when it had the chance and you developed shingles, hopefully it will be mild and you won't have it again

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Can children get chickenpox from some one with the shingles even if they had the shots?

Maybe: A single dose of the vaccine is considered 85% protective while two doses bring this up to 95% or better. Those with shingles are not as likely to spread the virus because it does not enter their saliva or become airborne by coughing. Only the debris from the sores is infectious, and avoidance can limit spread.

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I had an extremely mild case of chickenpox as a child. Could I get a mild case of shingles?

I had an extremely mild case of chickenpox as a child. Could I get a mild case of shingles?

Not necessarily: The presence of fewer blisters during chickenpox in childhood does not predict the degree of your shingles should it happen. The prior infection means you have the virus in your system in hibernation. You can certainly have shingles at some point. When or if you develop shingles, the intensity of the outbreak will depend or your health factors at the time.

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Had a bad case of chickenpox at age 20, does that make me, at age 54, more or less likely to get shingles?

Had a bad case of chickenpox at age 20, does that make me, at age 54, more or less likely to get shingles?

Neither more or less: The only chickenpox age that raises the risk is very young, 50%. http://umm. Edu/health/medical/reports/articles/shingles-and-chickenpox-varicellazoster-virus Take care of yourself, but do relax about this concern. Your risk is not elevated. Be well!

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What can I do if my sister has shingles and I've never had to chickenpox so is it possible I could get them?

What can I do if my sister has shingles and I've never had to chickenpox so is it possible I could get them?

Yes: The shingles reflect a re-activation of the chickenpox virus. It differs, in that the virus is not passed in airborn droplets or the persons saliva, just from the debris of the shingles sores. Good handwashing and avoiding conttact with the debris should prevent transfer.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster) (Definition)

A painful blistering skin rash caused by the chickenpox virus (varicella zoster). Early treatment with antiviral medication (within 72 hours) lowers the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia, which is lingering skin pain after the rash disappears. ...Read more


Dr. Heidi Fowler
820 Doctors shared insights

Herpes Zoster (Definition)

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus, the ...Read more