180 Physicians Online


How Can I Tell If I Have Had Chicken Pox?

Dear Ask The Doctor:
How can I find out if I ever had Chicken Pox? I want to get a Shingle Shot, but they all say to get one only if you had Chicken Pox. What would happen if I took the shot even though I never had Chicken Pox?


Chicken pox (Varicella-Zoster) is a contagious viral infection, which usually occurs in childhood. Many people remember having the infection, or their parents report previous infection. If you are unsure if you have had chickenpox as a child, a laboratory blood test can be performed by your family doctor.
This detects the presence of antibodies directed against the varicella-zoster virus if you were previously exposed, and confirms immunity which remains life-long. There is a vaccine available if you have not previously been infected, and because it is a live, weakened form of the virus there is a small risk that you can develop a mild form of the disease post-vaccination.

Sign In to join in the conversation.

You’re in good hands, meet ATD’s founding physicians.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • Board Certified GP
  • CMO ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Adjunct Professor at U Of T

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
  • Director ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Fellowship Training Atlanta, GA

Related Answers:

My husband was just diagnosed with shingles and is on an antiviral. I grew up in a family with six children, but am ...

Can you get shingles more than once? My daughter had them about 6 mos. ago and she feels that she has them again.

I think my son has the shingles and we need to know what to do

An employee informed us that she had shingles today. Has had it for three days. Unknown to us she was using a cold pa...

I started on Acyclovir Saturday for small patch of Shingles....how soon can I be around people?

I went to urgent care clinic yesterday & was told this is shingles. A small bumpy rash started 5 days ago, and t...

I have a small, itchy bump on the front of my neck. The last time I had this, it was on the side of my neck and ended...

My girlfriend has shingles & I want to know if taking a hot bath & soaking in tub is better to aid with the i...

Are shingles contagious I have been diagnosed and on medication for shingles. Am I contagious

Can shingles be transmitted on surfaces touched by contagious person? Is a person who has never had Chickenpox, more ...