Can You Get Shingles Twice?
A myth around shingles is that once a person gets Shingles, he/she won’t get it back. However, this is untrue. Shingles can recur more than once and sometimes (though very rarely) it can occur thrice. How frequently Shingles may recur and who will suffer from Shingles more than once is not clear to the experts. However, it can be said that people with a weak immunity, are more prone to getting Shingles more than once.
Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster because of the Varicella zoster virus, usually occurs to those, who have already suffered from chickenpox earlier. The Varicella zoster virus causes the common disease chickenpox. Even after chickenpox is cured and symptoms have subsided, the virus remains in an inactive state inside the body.
Usually the virus stays in a dormant state in the nervous system of a person. However, those, who have a weak immunity, suffer from Shingles again.
Studies have shown that shingles recurs in those, who have persistent and long lasting pain even after 60 days from the first Shingles occurrence. Usually –
- People suffering from post-Shingles pain after 30 days have a 2.8 times higher chances of Shingles recurrence
- People suffering from post-Shingles pain even after 60 days have a 4.8 times higher chances of Shingles recurrence.
Those, who are suffering from diseases like lymphoma, leukaemia or HIV, have a higher chance of getting Shingles more than once as they have a weak immune system. If you are taking some medicines that weaken your immunity system, then also you have a higher chance of getting Shingles more than once.
How to Prevent Shingles from Coming Back?
There is no way that you can prevent Shingles from recurring. However, by making sure that you have a strong immune system, you can reduce your risks of having Shingles more than once. Doctors recommend Shingles vaccine to people above the age of 50. However, if someone has a weak immunity, Shingles vaccine is not recommended.