Doctor insights on:
Can You Catch Shingles From Someone Who Has 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. Read more
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
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. Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
I have shingles on my face and wondering if kissing my wife who has had chickenpox before can catch shingles from me from kissing.
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. Read more
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. Read more
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?
Not so much: Shingles reflects a re-activation of the chickenpox virus. It differs from Cpx, the virus is not passed in airborne droplets or the persons saliva, just from the debris of the sores. Good hand washing and avoiding contact with the debris should prevent transfer. Most adults (>90%) who say they never had Cpx have blood evidence they did & immunity. Transfer in this case seems unlikely. Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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. Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Had a bad case of chickenpox at age 20, does that make me, at age 54, more or less likely to get shingles?
What can I do if my sister has shingles and I've never had to chickenpox so is it possible I could get them?
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
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