Relationship of chickenpox varicella and shingles

Varicella-Zoster Virus (Chickenpox and Shingles) & Communicable Diseases | Health & Senior Services

relationship of chickenpox varicella and shingles

Facts About Chickenpox and Shingles for Adults. What is chickenpox? Chickenpox, also known as varicella, is a very contagious disease caused by the . Barbara Walters' co-hosts on The View informed viewers that Walters has been hospitalized with the chicken pox. She's 83, and the infection. If you've ever had chickenpox, you're at risk of developing shingles later in infections, the virus that causes the infection, varicella zoster virus.

After a person has had chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus can remain inactive in the body for many years. Herpes zoster shingles occurs when the virus becomes active again. What illnesses does varicella-zoster cause?

relationship of chickenpox varicella and shingles

Chickenpox first occurs as a blister-like skin rash and fever. It takes from days after exposure for someone to develop chickenpox. The sores commonly occur in batches with different stages bumps, blisters, and sores present at the same time.

The blisters usually scab over in 5 days. A person with chickenpox is contagious days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs. Children with weakened immune systems may have blisters occurring for a prolonged time period.

relationship of chickenpox varicella and shingles

Adults can develop severe pneumonia and other serious complications. Shingles occurs when the virus, which has been inactive for some time, becomes active again.

Chickenpox, chickenpox vaccination, and shingles

Severe pain and numbness along nerve pathways, commonly on the trunk or on the face, are present. Clusters of blisters appear 1 to 5 days later. The blisters are usually on one side of the body and closer together than in chickenpox. Shingles does not spread as shingles from one person to another. If people who have never had chickenpox come in contact with the fluid from shingles blisters, they can develop chickenpox.

  • Chickenpox and shingles (varicella / herpes zoster)
  • 5 Things You Should Know About Chicken Pox and Shingles
  • NSW Health

Can you get chickenpox if you've been vaccinated? Vaccinated persons who get chickenpox generally have fewer than 50 spots or bumps, which may resemble bug bites more than typical, fluid-filled chickenpox blisters. In one study, children who received two doses of varicella vaccine were three times less likely to get chickenpox than individuals who have had only one dose. Are chickenpox and shingles serious illnesses?


The symptoms may be more severe in newborns, persons with weakened immune systems, and adults. The infection can take anywhere from 10 to 21 days to develop after exposure to someone with chicken pox or shingles. People with chicken pox are contagious a couple days before their rash appears and remain so until all of their blisters have scabbed.

Chickenpox, chickenpox vaccination, and shingles

A person with shingles, on the other hand, can only spread their infection while their skin rash is still blistering. Adults who have not had the disease and may be in close contact with young children who are likely to be infected should consider getting vaccinated.

Children should receive the first dose when they are between 12 months old and 15 months old, and a second dose when they are 4 years old to 6 years old.

There is also a shingles vaccine. Zostavax is recommended for people ages 60 and older since they are most vulnerable to the infection. While the vaccine cannot protect you completely from a bout with shingles, it can make the rashes less painful and help clear them up more quickly. How is it prevented?

Varicella-Zoster Virus (Chickenpox and Shingles)

It is especially recommended for people at high risk, for example, health care workers, people living with or working with small children, women planning a pregnancy, and household contact of persons who are immunosuppressed. People with chickenpox should avoid others and not attend childcare or school until at least five days after onset of the rash and all the blisters have dried.

relationship of chickenpox varicella and shingles

People with chickenpox should cover the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, dispose of soiled tissues, wash their hands well and not share eating utensils, food or drinking cups.

Pregnant women should avoid anyone with chickenpox or shingles and should see their doctor if they have been around someone with these illnesses. Children with an immune deficiency for example, leukaemia or who are receiving chemotherapy should avoid anyone with chickenpox or shingles as the infection can be especially severe. How is it diagnosed? Most cases can be diagnosed based on the symptoms and by appearance of the rash. Sometimes the diagnosis is confirmed by testing samples taken from the rash or from blood.

Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox, usually in adulthood and many years after the initial chickenpox illness. The illness is characterised by a painful chickenpox-like rash on a small area of skin, usually on one side of the body.

Chickenpox and shingles fact sheet - Fact sheets

Pain and tingling associated with the rash may persist for weeks or months after the rash has cleared. This is called post-herpetic neuralgia. The virus can be spread by direct contact with the skin rash of infected people.

This causes chickenpox in people who are not immune. Shingles develops more commonly in people who are immunosuppressed.