Jul 1, 2001
Exactly what is it. How is it cured? How does one catch it? Is it contageious?
Response from Dr. Feinberg
Shingles results from reactivation of the chicken pox virus in your body. So to get shingles, you have to have had chicken pox in the past. Chicken pox is highly contagious, and if you have shingles and come into contact with people who have never had chicken pox, they can get chicken pox from their exposure to you. It cannot be cured, since the virus becomes inactive (latent) but remains in your body forever, like HIV does. The shingles virus can be controlled with medication, also like HIV.
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