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Old 03-01-2004, 12:04 PM
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If You Had Chicken Pox, Do you Have Herpes Now?

This guy I was with (who is a complete idiot) made a statement that he had an incurable disease. I asked him what it was and he said "he had a case of Shingles at the age of 37." He said Shingles is Herpes.

Then he went on to ask me if I have ever had a cold sore on my mouth or a bump on my tongue and I said "no." I said "I have never had an STD."

He then asked me if I had Chicken Pox and I said "yes when I was 2 yrs old." He said "then you have Herpes its just lying dormant in your body."

I told him that I disagree with him 100% but do not have the facts to refute him.
So now I want to know. Is he full of crap?
Old 03-01-2004, 12:13 PM
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Chickenpox is a herpesvirus, but it is NOT herpes simplex type I or type II. So for what most people mean by "herpes," yes, he's full of it. However, the chicken pox virus does lie dormant in people who have had chicken pox, and it's definitely the cause of shingles.
Old 03-01-2004, 12:15 PM
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Your friend is a bit confused. Herpes and chicken pox are caused by two entirely different (but related) viruses.

Chicken pox is caused by varicalla-zoster virus. Initial infection with this virus causes chicken pox. After the initial infection, the virus lies dormant in nerve ganglia; if the body's immune system weakens, the virus may begin replicating again, leading to an outbreak of shingles.

Herpes is caused by the Herpes simplex virus (there are tw major subtypes: type 1, which usually affects the mouth and causes cold sores, and type 2, which prefers the genital area and causes small, painful blisters and ulcers). Herpesvirus also lives in the body's nerve ganglia after the initial infection, but when it re-activates you just get another outbreak of herpes sores, similar to the ones you had in the initial infection.

So if you've had chicken pox, you have varicalla-zoster virus in your body, and are at risk of developing shingles when you get older. You do NOT have herpes; you've got to be infected with the herpes simplex virus to get that.
Old 03-01-2004, 01:31 PM
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Pretty much what artemis said. But, to add to it, the varicella-zoster virus is a member of the herpesvirus family. It's like with animals, where species are organized into genera and families, etc. VZ and "classic" herpes are related, and the family name is herpes, which can lead to confusion. But they're not the same virus.

Additionally, although VZ certainly CAN set up lifelong housekeeping, it doesn't do so in every case. So if you've had chicken pox, you might still have the virus around. Or you might not.
Old 03-01-2004, 03:18 PM
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What it boils down to is.....just because I had Chick Pox at age 2 I do NOT have Herpes and it is NOT transferable in any fashion because although it is in the same "classification" it is not the same as the STD. RIght?

I knew this guy was an idiot.
Old 03-01-2004, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunrise
What it boils down to is.....just because I had Chick Pox at age 2 I do NOT have Herpes and it is NOT transferable in any fashion because although it is in the same "classification" it is not the same as the STD. RIght?
Right. You don't have herpes; HSV and VZV are two separate (but closely related) viruses, which cause two separate diseases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunrise
I knew this guy was an idiot.
Just confused, I'd say. He probably heard somewhere that chicken pox is a herpesvirus, and though that meant chicken pox IS herpes (which it definitely isn't).
Old 03-01-2004, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artemis
Chicken pox is caused by varicalla-zoster virus. Initial infection with this virus causes chicken pox. After the initial infection, the virus lies dormant in nerve ganglia; if the body's immune system weakens, the virus may begin replicating again, leading to an outbreak of shingles.
During an outbreak, are shingles communicable? Can you catch chicken pox from someone who is experiencing an outbreak of shingles?
Old 03-01-2004, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunrise
What it boils down to is.....just because I had Chick Pox at age 2 I do NOT have Herpes and it is NOT transferable in any fashion because although it is in the same "classification" it is not the same as the STD. RIght?
Let me throw in a curve ball.
I had chicken pox at 3 weeks of age. I was told that since I was so young when I had it that I could catch it again. (See Smeghead's post.) But I never did. Maybe.

Maybe because downstairs roomates caught Herpes II and while there was no way I caught it through sexual contact (shared dishes is the probability) I did develop a one one-time symptom.
Old 03-01-2004, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperNelson
During an outbreak, are shingles communicable? Can you catch chicken pox from someone who is experiencing an outbreak of shingles?
If you've never had chickenpox, yes, you can catch it from coming into contact with someone else's shingles lesions.

CDC FAQ on Shingles

CDC FAQ on Chickenpox
Old 03-01-2004, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidKid
Maybe because downstairs roomates caught Herpes II and while there was no way I caught it through sexual contact (shared dishes is the probability) I did develop a one one-time symptom.
I'm not sure if I follow correctly. I may be way off base, but are you saying you caught type II herpes through sharing eating utensils? Did you have it typed by a blood test? Type II is usually present in genital herpes and Type I is usually oral. I'm confused by the term "one-time symptom." Currently there is no cure for either type of HSV. If you do have Type II oral herpes, your recurrence rate may be one in one hundred years. Which I guess could make it a one-time symptom, although you may shed the virus asymptomatically from time to time.
Old 03-01-2004, 10:03 PM
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FYI If you're unsure as to your immunity to chicken pox, go to your doctor and have a test done, all they need is a vial of blood. My doctor did it as part of my yearly physical.

And if you're NOT immune, please get the vaccination...it's much more dangerous in adults and a shot now is better than a week of suffering down the road.
Old 03-02-2004, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunrise
...I do NOT have Herpes...
OTOH, infection rates for adults with HSV1 are about 80%. Most people who are infected don't know it (same for HSV2, but there is a lower prevalence). So statistically speaking, it's likely that you do have herpes.

-Choosy (derm md)
Old 03-02-2004, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the O-man
I'm not sure if I follow correctly. I may be way off base, but are you saying you caught type II herpes through sharing eating utensils? Did you have it typed by a blood test? Type II is usually present in genital herpes and Type I is usually oral. I'm confused by the term "one-time symptom." Currently there is no cure for either type of HSV. If you do have Type II oral herpes, your recurrence rate may be one in one hundred years. Which I guess could make it a one-time symptom, although you may shed the virus asymptomatically from time to time.
Just to throw folks a curve ball or three ---

Due to the prevelance of oral sex in our society, Type II herpes on the mouth and Type I herpes on the genitals is becoming more common. And yes, you can wind up with both types in both places.

Also, since herpes can be caught by means other than just sex, it is not always an "STD". Yes, you can catch it by sharing eating utensils, cups, and so forth. You can also catch it from the surfaces in hot tubs. Sharing toothbrushes. Sharing lipstick/lip balm. And so forth. Basically, anything that touches a herpes sore can potentially transmit the disease for a very brief period of time.

Herpes can also infect areas other than the mouth and genitals - the eyes, for example, the interior of the nose and sinus cavities, or even the brain in very rare cases.
Old 03-02-2004, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Broomstick
Due to the prevelance of oral sex in our society, Type II herpes on the mouth and Type I herpes on the genitals is becoming more common.
Oh my goodness, yes! When hubby and I were engaged, I had a cold sore that, due to stress, turned into hundreds of cold sores in my mouth and in my throat. But before it got that bad, we had engaged in some intimate oral activities. After it got really bad, and we went to see a doctor (because our wedding was less than two weeks away and I was sick as a dog), the doc said "no oral sex; this can be transmitted", and we thought "now she tells us!". Well, we both ended up with type I genital herpes, although we've been extremely lucky as far as outbreaks are concerned. In 15 years, I've had three outbreaks (no more than 2 sores each time), and he's had one outbreak, with one tiny sore.
Old 03-02-2004, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norinew
the doc said "no oral sex; this can be transmitted", and we thought "now she tells us!". Well, we both ended up with type I genital herpes, although we've been extremely lucky as far as outbreaks are concerned. In 15 years, I've had three outbreaks (no more than 2 sores each time), and he's had one outbreak, with one tiny sore.
Type I accounts for 30% of all new cases of genital herpes now diagnosed. This is due to the rising amount of oral sex which many people think is a form of "safe sex." It is thought that the recurrency rate for outbreaks is one every year and a half for this type of infection. But there is always the risk of asymptomatic shedding. I was diagnosed with gential herpes eight years ago. I went to the doctor with concern over a rash that had developed on my penis. He saw a small bump, and declared it to be a herpes infection. He didn't swab it, or run any kind of tests. To be honest, I don't think there were any blood tests available back then to detect it. Flash forward to 2003, I get a series of blood tests ordered by my new doctor to see if I should go on suppressive therapy. I have not had an outbreak since the few months I was first diagnosed. Turns out all the blood work comes back negative. I get retested four months later by a different lab. Same negative result. I'm not sure what I had originally, it may have been a bacterial infection. I have done extrensive reading on the subject of HSV, and it's very interesting all the information that's now available. And a lot of misconceptions that people have about it.
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