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Some myths and the facts

Myth:

You can catch shingles
from someone with
chickenpox.

Fact:

Shingles can NOT be caught from someone with
chickenpox. Shingles is caused by the reactivation of
your own chickenpox virus, so you cannot catch it from
anyone else. However it is possible to catch chickenpox
from someone who has shingles.

Myth:

I've never had chickenpox,
so I can't get shingles.

Fact:

You can only get shingles if you have had chickenpox.
However many people had chickenpox as a child and
are unaware of it; the infection can sometimes be so
mild that it is nothing but a few spots. Even such a mild
infection leaves you at risk of shingles later in life.

Myth:

I've had shingles already,
so I can't get it again.

Fact:

Unfortunately some people get shingles more than
once, although the risk is low. Vaccination as part
of the national immunisation programme is still
recommended for those who have had shingles
in the past.