Is this really shingles or could it be something else?
Both my wife (age 30) and my mom (age 57) were diagnosed with shingles this week. They were both sore for a couple of weeks mostly on the left-middle sides of their bodies before developing a rash that skipped around from their abdomens to their backs, also on the left side. The nurse that attended my mother said that there have been a lot of people suffering from shingles in our area (Rockford, IL) recently, and that she had attended to another person with shingles that same day (which she implied was not common for her). As shingles is not contagious unless as chickenpox, it makes me wonder if my wife and mother were misdiagnosed, because the likelihood of them both developing shingles at relatively the exact same time, and never having had it before, is very low. Any insights you might have would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by GuardianSpero; 07-24-2009 at 03:15 AM.
Re: Is this really shingles or could it be something else?
I guess it's not totally out of the realm of possibility that, just as a coincidence, two people develop shingles at the same time; however, when that nurse was saying that there is shingles "going around", she was obviously mistaken because Zoster is not contagious in that way. If someone has disseminated zoster (i.e. involving a very wide area of the body) the person is likely also shedding it when they breathe out, but for someone who's already had Varicella (chicken pox), you're immune anyway.
No one on this board can make a dermatologic diagnosis of any kind because no one can actually SEE the rash. If the rash was a painful/burning blistery rash involving one side of the body in a specific "strap-like" area, then it probably IS Zoster, but you'd need a trained health professional to make a proper diagnosis.
Re: Is this really shingles or could it be sothing else?
Thanks for your response.
We did look into it further, and it was confirmed to us that they do have shingles, being such an identifiable disease.
The only other thing I could think of is that maybe something lowered their immune systems in such a way that it made the developing of shingles more likely. But whether that's more likely then just happening to develop shingles at the same time, or not, or even possible, I wouldn't know. Either way, both my wife and my mother are starting to feel a little better, and my wife's rash seems to be subsiding.