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Can you get shingles more than once?

(16 Posts)
HeinzSight Tue 26-Aug-08 15:09:43

My stepmum has already had it (years ago) but has come into close contact with someone at the very contagious stage of chicken pox.

Is is possible to catch shingles twice?

PCNASWM Tue 26-Aug-08 15:11:17

yes, unfortunately you can

Shitehawk Tue 26-Aug-08 15:13:21

You don't "catch" shingles at all, either from someone with chicken pox or from someone with shingles.

HeinzSight Tue 26-Aug-08 15:13:42

oh crap sad please please please send don't catch it vibes her way.......

AMumInScotland Tue 26-Aug-08 15:14:30

You can have shingles lots of times, but you don't develop it from coming into contact with someone with chicken pox. She has the virus in her body already (from having chicken pox herself when she was younger) and it can flare up into shingles at any time, often due to stress.

So, coming into contact with someone with chicken pox won't make her come out with shingles.

PCNASWM Tue 26-Aug-08 15:15:26

My understanding is that the virus lays dormant and can come out again. I do hope your step mum is okay {{{{{}}}}}

SaintGeorge Tue 26-Aug-08 15:16:16

You don't 'catch' shingles.

You catch chicken pox, which leaves a dormant form of the virus in your nerve endings.

Then shingles can develop at a later stage, often many years alter.

Often preceded by a shock (common after RTAs apparently) or can be triggered simply if someone is a bit run down and in low general health.

It is very common to have it at least twice.

SaintGeorge Tue 26-Aug-08 15:16:49

Many years after.

Shitehawk Tue 26-Aug-08 15:17:16

It does lie dormant and can occur again at any time.

But it is not infectious. You cannot "catch" it.

HeinzSight Tue 26-Aug-08 15:17:24

I'm confused.

Does that mean that she is at no increased risk having been in contact with someone with chicken pox?

Shitehawk Tue 26-Aug-08 15:18:45

She is at no risk at all of getting shingles from chicken pox.

You can rarely catch chicken pox from someone with shingles, but it does not work the other way around.

Shitehawk Tue 26-Aug-08 15:19:48

Read this

Shitehawk Tue 26-Aug-08 15:20:54

And this

Weegiemum Tue 26-Aug-08 15:21:07

You get chicken pox from being in contact with someone with active shingles.

You CANNOT get shingles from someone with chickenpox.

Shngles is the chickenpox virus dormant in your body, reactivated by stress, or ill health.

It has nothing to do with coming into contact with someone with chickenpox.

AMumInScotland Tue 26-Aug-08 15:21:12

No increased risk whatsoever. In fact, there is a theory that coming into contact with the chicken pox virus from time to time even makes it less likely to break out in shingles. Apparently in the US, since they started to vaccinate against chicken pox, there have been more cases of shingles.

HeinzSight Tue 26-Aug-08 15:25:11

Phew, thank you so much you clever clever people smile

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