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Old 21 January 2007, 03:25 AM
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Icon86 Chicken pox = no shingles

Comment: I had heard often that if a person had chicken pox as a child
this would prevent them from getting "shingles" as an adult. A friend has
been diagnosed with shingles & claims its was because he had chicken pox
as a child that he was able to have shingles. Which is it?
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  #2  
Old 21 January 2007, 03:51 AM
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Shingles causes a painful rash of small blisters that typically appear on the body, often in a band on the chest and back. The virus that causes shingles is called varicella zoster. This is the virus that causes chickenpox.

After having chickenpox, the varicella virus lies dormant in the spinal cord. If the virus reactivates in the spinal cord it causes shingles.
Link

Intestingly, this site claims that the chickenpox vaccination will not necessarily prevent shingles in later life.
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  #3  
Old 21 January 2007, 04:06 AM
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Getting chicken pox is what gives you the shingles later in life, NOT the other way around.

I discoverd this for a fact from my doctor when my daughter got shingles 4 years ago. She had chicken pox as a baby - about 2 months before the vaccine came out.
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Old 21 January 2007, 04:17 AM
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I had shingles as a teen, and I had chicken pox as a child, you can't get shingles w/o chicken pox.

I haven't given my kids the chicken pox vaccine because if they actually get the disease as a child they are more likely to have immunity for life, whereas the vaccine only guarantees 30 years immunity. If they get it as an adult it is much worse, I know I don't keep up on my vaccines as an adult, what will make sure they do? One doctor tried to convince me to give it to them with the shingles argument, happy to know it may not be true.
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Old 21 January 2007, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amused View Post
I had shingles as a teen, and I had chicken pox as a child, you can't get shingles w/o chicken pox.

I haven't given my kids the chicken pox vaccine because if they actually get the disease as a child they are more likely to have immunity for life, whereas the vaccine only guarantees 30 years immunity. If they get it as an adult it is much worse, I know I don't keep up on my vaccines as an adult, what will make sure they do? One doctor tried to convince me to give it to them with the shingles argument, happy to know it may not be true.
Same here...the vaccine was relatively new when my children were preschoolers, and our doctor recommended against it because at the time no one seemed to know how long the immunity would last. He did, however, recommend giving the vaccine to my husband, who'd never had chicken pox as a child, since the disease is so potentially dangerous in adults. Hubby got the vaccine, and the kids got the chicken pox the normal way. My only concern now is that my son's case was so light, I fear he may not have immunity. I wonder if medical professionals recommend the vaccine for people like him? (He's nearing adulthood.)
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Old 21 January 2007, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amused View Post
I had shingles as a teen, and I had chicken pox as a child, you can't get shingles w/o chicken pox.

I haven't given my kids the chicken pox vaccine because if they actually get the disease as a child they are more likely to have immunity for life, whereas the vaccine only guarantees 30 years immunity. If they get it as an adult it is much worse, I know I don't keep up on my vaccines as an adult, what will make sure they do? One doctor tried to convince me to give it to them with the shingles argument, happy to know it may not be true.
I had chicken pox as an adult.

IT SUCKS REAL BAD. I mean, it's real bad. It's not something you want. I was out of work for two weeks (not to protect others but because I was miserable that long) and my skin didn't get back to normal for months.

I would say that if the kids haven't caught chicken pox by their early teens, they likely won't, especially if other kids are vaccinated, and to go ahead with the vaccine. They could always get another vaccine after 30 years, couldn't they?
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Old 21 January 2007, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amused View Post
I had shingles as a teen, and I had chicken pox as a child, you can't get shingles w/o chicken pox.
Unless you have the vaccine -- see the second link in my post above. That was surprising and disappointing to me. I did have my daughter vaccinated. She was 4 years old and had gone through several rounds of chickenpox at her daycare without catching it. I was afraid that she would get it when she was older, and it would be worse. Also, at the time I decided to have her vaccinated, her dad was out of work and paying significantly reduced child support, so my missing a week of work if she caught it would have been disastrous.
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Old 21 January 2007, 01:31 PM
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I had chickenpox back in the 1970s and got told it would prevent shingles in later life. Just over a decade ago I found out this wasn't true when an elderly friend got shingles in spite of having had chickenpox as a child. AIUI, chickenpox immunity isn't lifelong anyway (contrary to what we were told back in the 1970s).
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  #9  
Old 21 January 2007, 04:02 PM
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Ya, if my kids haven't had chicken pox by the time they're teens I would recommend them to get it, I have heard stories about how awful it can be
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Old 21 January 2007, 04:03 PM
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I did research on this because I've never had chickenpox and I was considering getting the vaccine. What I learned was that shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus. If you've never had either chickenpox or the vaccine, you cannot get shingles. However, the vaccine uses a live virus and you can get shingles if you've had either chickenpox or the vaccine.

I figured that since I was so rarely around children (who I think are the primary chickenpox carriers) I would be better off without the vaccine because that way I would never have shingles (although of course there is a risk because I do have to go to department stores, take public transit, etc.).
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  #11  
Old 21 January 2007, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amused View Post
I haven't given my kids the chicken pox vaccine because if they actually get the disease as a child they are more likely to have immunity for life, whereas the vaccine only guarantees 30 years immunity. If they get it as an adult it is much worse, I know I don't keep up on my vaccines as an adult, what will make sure they do? One doctor tried to convince me to give it to them with the shingles argument, happy to know it may not be true.
The chicken pox vaccine is one of the ones required for public school students in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts -- parents must provide documentation of immunization or that kids have already had chicken pox or they can't go to school (cite). Then again, the Commonwealth has the highest immunization rates in the country.

Four Kitties
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Old 21 January 2007, 04:13 PM
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I didn't know there was a chickenpox vaccine! Chickenpox (the illness) seemed to be compulsory when I was a kid (lots of kids went down with it on Xmas). I might have heard about a "shingles vaccine" for elderly people round about the time an elderly friend got shingles, but I can't be sure.
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Old 21 January 2007, 04:37 PM
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My husband recently had shingles, so we've both done a lot of reading on the subject. Unfortunately the introduction of the chicken pox vaccine seems to be introducing another problem:

Quote:
The researchers worked out a mathematical model that predicts that eliminating chickenpox in a country the size of the United States would prevent 186 million cases of the disease and 5,000 deaths over 50 years.

However they said it could also result in 21 million more cases of shingles and 5000 deaths.
Another article with disturbing information:
Quote:
But Goldman has found that the effectiveness of the chickenpox vaccine also is dependent on natural boosting. As the wild chickenpox virus declines, he said, so does the effectiveness of the vaccine.
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Old 21 January 2007, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
I didn't know there was a chickenpox vaccine! Chickenpox (the illness) seemed to be compulsory when I was a kid (lots of kids went down with it on Xmas). I might have heard about a "shingles vaccine" for elderly people round about the time an elderly friend got shingles, but I can't be sure.
Everybody got chickenpox when I was a kid, too. In fact, everybody also got measles and rubella and mumps when I was a kid. The chickenpox vaccine came out in the 1990s.
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Old 22 January 2007, 12:14 PM
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I've been thinking about this, and I wanted to revisit it:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amused View Post
I haven't given my kids the chicken pox vaccine because if they actually get the disease as a child they are more likely to have immunity for life, whereas the vaccine only guarantees 30 years immunity.
Many other vaccines don't provide lifetime immunity as well: I know a tetanus shot is only good for 10 years, for instance. I think hepatitis vaccines are of limited duration, as well (but I'm not sure and I haven't had enough coffee to Google). I know that before I got pregnant, my OB insisted that I be re-vaccinated for measles, mumps, polio, and hepatitis in addition to will-cause-problems-in-pregnancy-German-Measles.

The Kitten's pediatrician says the new HPV vaccine is also only good for 10 years.

My cats' rabies vaccines are only good for three years, and their upper-respiratory and distemper vaccines have to be done every year.

Just because a vaccine's protection is of limited duration doesn't mean it's not worth getting. IMHO time-limited protection is better than none at all.

Four Kitties
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  #16  
Old 22 January 2007, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troodon View Post
I did research on this because I've never had chickenpox and I was considering getting the vaccine. What I learned was that shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus. If you've never had either chickenpox or the vaccine, you cannot get shingles. However, the vaccine uses a live virus and you can get shingles if you've had either chickenpox or the vaccine.

I figured that since I was so rarely around children (who I think are the primary chickenpox carriers) I would be better off without the vaccine because that way I would never have shingles (although of course there is a risk because I do have to go to department stores, take public transit, etc.).
Huh! Don't count on it! When I got them I was single and none of my friends had kids and I was never around kids at all. I must have passed by someone in the grocery store or something, is all I can figure.
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Old 22 January 2007, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Kitties View Post
I've been thinking about this, and I wanted to revisit it:Many other vaccines don't provide lifetime immunity as well: I know a tetanus shot is only good for 10 years, for instance. I think hepatitis vaccines are of limited duration, as well (but I'm not sure and I haven't had enough coffee to Google). I know that before I got pregnant, my OB insisted that I be re-vaccinated for measles, mumps, polio, and hepatitis in addition to will-cause-problems-in-pregnancy-German-Measles.

The Kitten's pediatrician says the new HPV vaccine is also only good for 10 years.

My cats' rabies vaccines are only good for three years, and their upper-respiratory and distemper vaccines have to be done every year.

Just because a vaccine's protection is of limited duration doesn't mean it's not worth getting. IMHO time-limited protection is better than none at all.

Four Kitties

I agree completely!
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  #18  
Old 22 January 2007, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapdragonfly View Post
Huh! Don't count on it! When I got them I was single and none of my friends had kids and I was never around kids at all. I must have passed by someone in the grocery store or something, is all I can figure.
Did you not have chickenpox as a child?
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  #19  
Old 22 January 2007, 12:24 PM
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Huh. I never had chickenpox as a child, and I spent ages at friends' houses trying to catch it off them because I was told it would prevent shingles in later life. Never worked. Which I guess is a good thing now.
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  #20  
Old 22 January 2007, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by unbroken View Post
Huh. I never had chickenpox as a child, and I spent ages at friends' houses trying to catch it off them because I was told it would prevent shingles in later life. Never worked. Which I guess is a good thing now.
Assuming you don't get chickenpox as an adult. I know someone who did, and he was very sick. Some of the pox on his face left scars.
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