Pmr and shingles: Should I be worried about being... - PMRGCAuk


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Pmr and shingles


Should I be worried about being at a party with someone with shingles. She's just realised she's got it. Kept my distance! One hug!

12 Replies
CelticPMRGCAuk volunteer

DDKRM, yes we are more at risk whilst on steroids but more I believe from being in contact with someone with chickenpox, especially if we have had chickenpox in the past. Just watch out for any unusual pain or rash appearing, in which case seek an immediate appointment with a GP for anti-viral medication- the sooner the better to shorten the duration of the illness and reduce the risk of long term nerve pain.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Celtic

If we have NOT had CP in the past...

CelticPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to PMRpro

Hmm! A bit confusing for me as I've had chickenpox twice and shingles once since!

You can get chicken pox from someone who has shingles.


Theoretically it is possible to catch chickenpox from someone who has shingles but in practice it very very rarely happens. Unlike with chicken pox, the virus is only in the vesicles (the blisters on the rash) and the patient shouldn't be sneezing and coughing it all over the room which is what happens in CP. You can only develop shingles if YOU have had CP in the past, the virus remains dormant in the nerve endings and for some reason reactivates and causes shingles, no-one really knows why.

As Celtic says, IF you develop any signs of either CP or shingles, go immediately to the doctor and ask for antiviral medication which should reduce the severity and duration of the attack. There is no point going until you have symptoms though - the antivirals won't work until the virus is actually active in your body - but fr best results you DO need to start it within 48 hours of the symptoms appearing.

Bittebitt in reply to PMRpro

That was what I tried to explain, but I managed ti erase my first edition. That's why I only wrote that you can get cp from one who has shingles. It's very rare since most of us have been exposed to the virus when we vere children, but it happened to me when I was 30 and worked as a reg. nurse at an ophtalmology department. But very unlikely that you will get cp, ad you have had it already.

Joyful13 in reply to PMRpro


Have you ever heard of having shingles without any noticeable rash? I had chickenpox as a child, had a shingles vaccine several years ago. As I shared in another post, I have this severe burning pain in my upper back for weeks. I had one painful rash/sore 2-3 weeks ago, which disappeared after several days. I was seen in the ER for some other problems. The ER MD mentioned shingles at the time, but was not sure in regards to the rash that I had. She did not prescribe any treatment.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Joyful13

Yes, you can have shingles without a rash at all, it is called zoster sine herpete (ZSH). This is a link to a post on another forum where someone describes her experience.

Joyful13 in reply to PMRpro

Thanks. I read the post. I do not have the same pain as she described but I think I will talk to my PCP my symptoms. Thanks for your help.

Jenniyr in reply to PMRpro

I experienced a very severe pain in my left shoulder blade, felt as if something was drilling into it. Diagnosed as shingles, given pain killers and told to come back for anti virals when the blisters appeared. They never did. The pain disappeared after about nine days. I did take lysine, which helps.

Thanks for your replies. I've had shingles twice. Last time 10 years ago. And chickenpox back in the mists of the past. I'll keep an eye open for any symptoms but Tracey and I avoided each other at the party!! Waved across a crowded room!

PMRproAmbassador in reply to DDKRM

The only question then is whether something triggers your own propensity to develop shingles - but there is no reason why having seen your friend should have done that any more than having PMR anyway.

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