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Shingles and Chickenpox

Both shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus. Once a person has had chickenpox the virus remains dormant in your system. If the virus returns due to a weakening of the immune system caused by things such as stress, aging, disease, or some medications it comes back as shingles. Shingles is not necessarily contagious, one person cannot catch shingles from another person, however if someone who has not had chickenpox comes in contact with a person with shingles they can catch the varicella-zoster virus and in turn get chickenpox. For the majority of individuals, once they have had chickenpox the virus stays dormant in their system, it’s just in some individuals it will become active again for one reason or another which causes a shingles rash. The only time in which the virus could be passed from one person to another is during the time when the sores are open and weeping. Once the sores crust over the virus can no long be passed. If you come in contact with someone who has shingles, as long as you have already had chickenpox there shouldn’t be anything to worry about, however you should make sure to wash your hands and anything the person has come in contact with, as the virus could be spread to another individual who has not previously had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine.

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