ZocdocAnswersWhy do I keep getting shingles?

Question

Why do I keep getting shingles?

I have shingles, again. As a child I had chicken pox about 5 times and shingles 6-7 and since then have had shingles another 4-5 times including twice in the past year. I got a Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccination as a kid. I just got blood work to see if I was good on vaccines for a job and my measles score was an 8.5 when you need like a 50 or a 100 (can't remember the number) so I got ANOTHER Measles, Mumps and Rubella shot this past Friday (3 days ago) and have broken out in shingles today. I don't know what to do! Please help!

Answer

This is a very unusual and unfortunate problem for you to be suffering from on such a routine basis, and I am sorry that you are going through this again. It would be important to know if you have been medically diagnosed, by a doctor, each of these times, or if there is more to the story. Sometimes an infection that seems to be similar to the previous infection can actually be something else entirely. If you have truly had all of these infections so often, then it would be important to see an infectious disease doctor to find out why. Again, this is unusual. Your body, whenever it gets stressed or has a low immune response for any other reason, is more prone to developing shingles, as the virus will lay dormant in your nerve cells for an extended period of time, only to flare up when you are weak in the future. Your recent shot could explain that, as it is a stress that could have caused the flare. Because you have had so many problems, speaking with an infectious disease doctor could mean the difference in getting to the bottom of your problem and helping you feel better. Please speak to your doctor.

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