Vaccination Failed, Got Chicken Pox

Patient

Q: Does having chicken pox mean that you will get shingles?

Symptoms:  I had the vaccination for chicken pox as a baby, but I still got it. I've heard that those who have had chicken pox have the shingle virus inside of them already.
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. This is a great question. Chicken pox and shingles are caused by the varicella zoster virus. When one is infected with the varicella zoster virus for the first time and develops chicken pox, this virus will remain in the body for life. It remains in a dormant state and can be reactivated at any given point in time. The reactivation of varicella zoster virus leads to a painful localized rash along a patch of skin called a dermatome. This is shingles. Now, being infected with chicken pox does not mean you will develop shingles, but there is a risk. This risk increases with as one gets older, or if the immune system is compromised. We hope this was informative.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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