Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Remember, you can’t get shingles without first having chickenpox or the vaccine? St. Joseph Communications uses cookies for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other purposes. “One of the common questions that comes up is, what about a mom who is, until the lesions are crusted over. I don’t believe that you can get shingles after having had the chickenpox vaccine. “Chicken pox is very, very contagious because it spreads through coughing and spreads through the air very easily,” says O’Leary. If you come in contact with someone with shingles, you can get the chicken pox. If you get chicken… Can you get shingles without having had chicken pox - Answered by a verified Health Professional We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. How is it diagnosed? If a woman has had the chicken pox (or the chicken pox vaccine) any time in her life, she passes along some immunity to the chicken pox to her baby while she’s pregnant, and t, munity lasts until the baby is six to 12 months of age, says O’Leary. A person can develop shingles if they have ever had chicken pox. You don’t develop shingles without first having the chicken pox virus in your body, so it’s unlikely that a baby would get shingles. If you have never had chicken pox you can catch shingles from someone who has them. Usually a doctor makes the diagnosis based on the symptoms (particularly the symptom of the rash appearing on just one half of the body) but a blood test or lab test of a small sample of a sore may be used to confirm the diagnosis.Â, Shingles treatment is mainly about treating the symptoms, says Ponti, such as age-appropriate over-the-counter pain medication for pain. Shingles: No you can get shingles when you have dormant chicken pox virus in your body. It can be reactivated later and cause shingles if someone's immune system is lowered. You don’t develop shingles without first having the chicken pox virus in your body, so it’s unlikely that a baby would get shingles. So if you never had chickenpox and someone you know has shingles, if their rash has turned to blisters and you touch the blisters, you could contract the virus and get chickenpox. Send thanks to the doctor Dr. Robert Killian answered So to simplify, if you never had chickenpox After shingles and a year of postherpetic neuralgia, a painful condition that made it difficult to sleep, DiCarlo, an infectious disease specialist at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, counts himself among the supporters of the shingles vaccine. I was just diagnosed with shingles and I have never had chicken pox. At some point, it can then reactivate, becoming 4 Things That Might Be Affecting Your Daughter’s Body Image. About 30 percent of people who have had chicken pox go on to have shingles sometime in their life, usually after the age of 60, but it can happen at any age. — Family medicine physician Jeffrey Brown, DO, Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. The shingles sores are contagious until they are scabbed over. My 17year old ,though never had chicken pox,he had the required vaccinations for the chicken pox when he was younger.It took two Should You Cancel Your Holiday Gatherings This Year Because of COVID? 5 Things You Should Know About Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Living With Lyme Disease: How to Promote Long-Term Healing. “In most cases, if the sores can be covered, it’s not considered contagious,” he says. We call that latency. Children with an immune deficiency (for example, leukaemia) or who are receiving chemotherapy should avoid anyone with chickenpox or shingles as the infection can be especially severe. Most cases can be Shingles is caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Wrong. “If there are shingles actually on the breast, the recommendation is that if it can be covered, then it’s OK to breastfeed. This virus cau You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter. Data from the Shingles Prevention Trial, which enrolled 38,000 adults aged 60 and over, showed that men and women who got the shingles vaccine were half as likely to get the ailment after an averag… The virus can remain dormant for years at a time, so if you had chickenpox as a child, you may not develop shingles until well into adulthood. Q. I almost think of shingles as being chickenpox the sequel. The CDC recommends that children receive two doses of the chicken… Do Face Mask Brackets Work — And Are They Safe. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. “One of the common questions that comes up is, what about a mom who is breastfeeding and she has shingles? Yes, people with shingles are contagious. “The in utero exposure is essentially the infant’s case of chicken pox,” says O’Leary, meaning that child could get shingles at some point, but wouldn’t need to have an active case of chicken pox first. Â. It’s more common for kids with immune systems that aren’t working well—for example a child who is going through chemotherapy or a child with rheumatoid arthritis taking medications that suppress the immune system—to develop shingles, says O’Leary. You can get the shingles without ever having had the chicken pox. you can also get shingles after having chicken pox. The shingles sores are contagious until they are scabbed over. “Shingles, on the other hand, is spread almost exclusively by direct contact with the sores themselves.” If you have skin contact with the fluid in a shingles sore, you’ve been exposed to the varicella-zoster. According to the CDC, "The virus that causes shingles, varicella zoster virus (VZV) can spread from a person with active shingles and cause chickenpox in someone who had never had chickenpox or received chickenpox vaccine." It’s unlikely that your child’s rash will turn out to be shingles, but if a rash shows up on just one half of the body, it’s worth getting checked out. Unfortunately, yes. There may also be a fever, headache or chills.Â, Fortunately, shingles pain tends to be milder for kids than it is in adults. If you’ve never had chickenpox, you won’t get shingles from someone who has it —, but you could get chickenpox. Any form of stress can reactivate them. “We recommend covering the sores with a dry, clean bandage.” Avoid contact with someone who has never had the chicken pox, especially babies and young children, pregnant women and the elderly.Â, Shingles vaccines are available and in Canada are recommended for adults age 50 and up, but they are not recommended for children.Â. Sometimes this happens because the body is under stress but other times it happens for no apparent reason.Â, The risk of shingles increases with age—in Canada, more than two-thirds of all cases are in people over the age of 50, according to Health Canada. Fitness, health and wellness tips sent to you weekly. Shingles is a painful skin condition and is on the rise in the U.S., but the reason for the increase remains unclear. You’ve probably heard about shingles—maybe you’ve even experienced the painful rash yourself—but what exactly is the relationship between shingles and chicken pox, and can kids get it? But you can get chickenpox from someone with shingles if you have not had chickenpox before. Kids who have had the chicken pox vaccine are less likely in general to get shingles at any point in their lives. Any form of stress can reactivate them. All Rights Reserved. Shingles is a dormant cell which you only get from chicken pox and who knows why it becomes active (speculation that it could become active due to high stress or weakened immune system). The virus goes into hiding somewhere at the base of a nerve in your body for years and years and just stays there quietly. The pain and the rash start up again, this time as shingles. You don’t develop shingles without first having the chicken pox virus in your body, so it’s unlikely that a baby would get shingles. The shingles vaccine Zostavax was licensed in the U.S. in 2006. Advertising on … possible for a child who has had the chicken pox vaccine to come down with shingles later in life, because they were exposed to the virus in much-weakened form in the vaccine. How Safe Are NSAIDs for Someone Who Has Had a Heart Attack? Yes, because while shingles is contagious, you won’t get shingles if you are exposed to someone with shingles, but you can get chicken pox. yes. Shingles is less contagious than chicken pox and cannot be passed from person to person. Chickenpox and shingles are caused by the same virus. (However, to really be on the safe side an older adult with shingles may want to take time off from looking after an infant. A: No, but you can get chickenpox. She says these kind of red, rashy lesions, which look similar to chicken pox, are found in a strip or patch on only one side of the body—the left side of the torso, for example, rather than all over the torso. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Can You Still Get Shingles After  If your child gets the chicken pox before t. You don’t develop shingles without first having the chicken pox virus in your body, so it’s unlikely that a baby would get shingles. “Children who get the vaccine are less likely to get shingles than children who have regular chicken pox,” saysSean O’Leary, a paediatrician and paediatric infectious disease specialist in Denver. A: No, but you can get chickenpox. She cautions that shingles near the eyes can be very serious, potentially permanently damaging the eye, so that situation needs to be monitored closely by a doctor.Â, O’Leary says that a non-steroid, over-the-counter product like calamine lotion can help soothe the skin if the sores are itchy. Cleveland Clinic © 1995-2020. “Children who get the vaccine are less likely to get shingles than children who have regular chicken pox,” saysSean O’Leary, a paediatrician and paediatric infectious disease specialist in Denver. If someone has shingles, and they are at the blister stage where they are contagious, they could transmit the virus to you, and you would get chickenpox. The shingles vaccine is a different vaccine that is given to seniors to help prevent them from getting shingles. If I never had chicken pox, do I need a shingles vaccine? They scab over after a few days and should heal completely in two to four weeks.Â. The primary reaction by VZV is chickenpox (varicella) and any If a woman has had the chicken pox (or the chicken pox vaccine) any time in her life, she passes along some immunity to the chicken pox to her baby while she’s pregnant, and t his partial im munity lasts until the baby is six to 12 months of age, says O’Leary. Once you’ve had chickenpox, the virus remains inactive in your nerve tissue. (In other words, exposure to the virus from shingles leads to chicken pox, not directly to shingles.) Depending on the situation, your doctor may also prescribe anti-viral medication, she says, adding that if your kiddo is scratching the sores and gets a bacterial infection on top of the viral infection, they may need antibiotics. Shingles: No you can get shingles when you have dormant chicken pox virus in your body. Shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus, called the varicella-zoster virus. Policy. Typically, when you’re a child and you get chickenpox, your body fights off the virus, but it doesn’t get rid of it. (In other words, exposure to the virus from shingles leads to chicken pox, not directly to shingles.) Here’s what you need to know about shingles, the infection caused by the chicken pox virus. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso.Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. you can get shingles without ever having chicken pox. Shingles is a viral infection, caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus responsible for chicken pox. You can't pass shingles directly to another person, but you can transmit the virus that causes shingles, which is the same virus behind chickenpox. A person who has shingles can infect others with chicken pox, but only if those persons (usually children) never had chicken pox before. No, you cannot get shingles without carrying the Herpes varicella virus. By Bonnie Schiedel In Canada, the chicken pox vaccine is part of routine vaccinations, with the first shot at, Post-partum women can sometimes come down with shingles, because the dormant virus can kick in when the body is under stress. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. It’s possible for a child who has had the chicken pox vaccine to come down with shingles later in life, because they were exposed to the virus in much-weakened form in the vaccine. So no, getting the chicken pox vaccine will not prevent you from later getting shingles. In Canada, the chicken pox vaccine is part of routine vaccinations, with the first shot at 12 to 15 months (depending on your province or territory) with a second follow-up shot sometime before the age of six (again depending on where you live).Â, Post-partum women can sometimes come down with shingles, because the dormant virus can kick in when the body is under stress. If you’ve been vaccinated for chickenpox, you’re also protected from shingles as an adult. After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. “Shingles, on the other hand, is spread almost exclusively by direct contact with the sores themselves.” If you have skin contact with the fluid in a shingles sore, you’ve been exposed to the varicella-zoster virus, and could come down with the chicken pox. When people get chickenpox, the virus remains in the body. I can say this with certainty because shingles cannot occur without the varicella-zoster (also known has the herpes zoster) virus which can only be present after having had chickenpox. Here’s what you need to know about shingles in children. Then, at some point when you get older, about 50 or even more so at 60, the virus decides to wake up and go for a walk. For some people, the inactive virus reactivates later in life, causing a red rash with small blisters filled with fluid. I'll be 60 in January.A. all you need is an exposure to the varicella zoster virus. So while a case of shingles is possible, it’s not common in kids with. Shingles is contagious, but not nearly as contagious as chicken pox. The short answer from a family medicine physician. Bottom line: kids get all kinds of rashes. For one thing, the vaccine works well but is not 100 percent effective, and occasionally a vaccinated kid can come down with the chicken pox, although it is usually a milder case. However, for kids the sores may be itchy, he says.  If your child gets the chicken pox before the age of one, or you had the chicken pox very late in your pregnancy, your child has a slightly higher risk of shingles, generally later in life as opposed to childhood. So while a case of shingles is possible, it’s not common in kids with healthy immune systems.Â. Find out how people get shingles, whether it is contagious, and how to prevent it. (However, the immunity isn’t necessarily complete and it is possible for an unvaccinated infant to get the chicken pox.) CORONAVIRUS: UPDATED VISITOR RESTRICTIONS, INCREASED SAFETY MEASURES + COVID-19 TESTING. “Shingles show up as painful blistery lesions, and they then fill with fluid, and then they scab over,” says Michelle Ponti, a paediatrician in London, Ontario. Policy. Can she breastfeed? May 5, 2020. They are both caused by the same herpes virus, varicella zoster virus (VZV). virus, and could come down with the chicken pox. But if it’s near the nipple, where the baby would be nursing, then it’s recommended that they pump from that breast and discard the milk, until the lesions are crusted over. You cannot get shingles from someone with shingles or chickenpox. Shingles and Chickenpox As a reminder, if you get a natural chickenpox infection, the chickenpox (varicella zoster) virus then remains in your body in an inactive or dormant state. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Remember, shingles is a reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which also causes chicken pox. By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. And the answer is, is in most cases, yes,” says O’Leary. After you’ve had the chicken pox, the virus becomes inactive in your body, but hides out in your nerve tissue. If you have shingles without a rash, your symptoms should clear up in a similar amount of time. Since shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus, anyone who has had chickenpox in the past can develop shingles in the future. )Â, Before the shingles sores emerge, there can be a burning, itching, tingling sensation in the skin, with the rash appearing up to five days later. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. You may not get chickenpox twice, but VZV could make you sick twice. If you haven’t had chickenpox, you can’t get shingles—but that doesn’t mean that contact with shingles won’t get you sick. However, the varicella zoster virus can be spread from a person with … You should still get vaccinated because studies show that nearly all adults 40 years and older have had chickenpox whether they remember having it or not. If a mom does have shingles, anywhere else [on the body], she just keeps it covered [and washes her hands well before nursing].”, Shingles is contagious, but not nearly as contagious as chicken pox. If a woman has had the chicken pox (or the chicken pox vaccine) any time in her life, she passes along some immunity to the chicken pox to her baby while she’s pregnant, and this partial immunity lasts until the baby is six to 12 months of age, says O’Leary. Years later, the virus m… “The little spots themselves aren’t that painful,” says O’Leary, explaining that for adults, who can often experience intense pain from shingles, the pain comes from the virus affecting nerves in the body, not from the actual sores on the skin. The shot you're talking about is an immunization against a virus called the varicella-zoster virus. “Chicken pox is very, very contagious because it spreads through coughing and spreads through the air very easily,” says O’Leary. (However, the immunity isn’t necessarily complete and it is possible for an unvaccinated infant to get the chicken pox.) WITH THAT It could be that your niece got the chicken pox and it quickly turned into shingles there for noone realizing she got the chicken pox (it is possible and does happen but mainly in adults … If you are over the age of 50, and have had chickenpox, consider the Zostavax vaccine and call the professionals at Northeast Dermatology Associates. You can get chickenpox from someone who has shingles if you have never had chickenpox or never received the chickenpox vaccine. If a mom does have shingles, anywhere else [on the body], she just keeps it covered [and washes her hands well before nursing].”, Similarly, if you or another adult, such as a grandparent, who has shingles is caring for an unvaccinated child, he says covering the sores with a bandage and washing hands thoroughly should be enough to avoid transmission. © Copyright 2020 St. Joseph Communications. My The risk of shingles increases with age—in Canada, more than two-thirds of all cases are in people over the age of 50, according to Health Canada. If someone has shingles, and they are at the blister stage where they are contagious, they could transmit the virus to you, and you would get chickenpox. Shingles with a rash usually clears up within two to six weeks.