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Doctor insights on: Exposure To Chickenpox Or Shingles

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Do I have chickenpox or is it shingles?

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. ...Read more

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Dr. James Ferguson
719 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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Is it possible to have the shingles and chickenpox?

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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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 ...Read more

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

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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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Shingles (Herpes Zoster) (Definition)

Shingles is 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


Exposure To Chickenpox (Definition)

Women who were not previously exposed to chickenpox who get chickenpox during pregnancy are at risk for congenital ...Read more