Shingles vaccine... coincidence?

Patient

Q: Dear Ask The Doctor: I have had several small shingle outbreaks since childhood. (after having Chicken pox ) Two - three weeks ago, our neighbor had shingles vaccine, came over to visit an hour late. two weeks later, I am having an outbreak, worst one I have ever had. I have had. .. coincidence?

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. To develop a shingles outbreak one must have the varicella zoster virus dormant within them from a previous infection of chicken pox. This previous infection commonly occurs in childhood. There have been some very rare cases of children who have never had chicken pox before, contracting chicken pox from persons who recently have been administered the shingles vaccine. However, there are no cases of adult to adult transmission. The shingles outbreak you are experiencing is likely due to your own innate viral infection. Please consult your doctor to be treated accordingly.


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