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Ramsay Hunt syndrome; your questions answered

Not everyone regains facial function after they recover from Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After singer Justin Bieber posted on social media that he has been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome causing paralysis to one side of his face, many people started asking questions about the syndrome. 


First, let's take a look at what Ramsay Hunt syndrome is: 

According to the Mayo Clinic, after chickenpox clears up the virus still lives in your nerves. Years later, it may reactivate, causing shingles or Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The syndrome can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss. 

RELATED: What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?


Does everyone regain facial function after they recover from Ramsay Hunt syndrome? 


This is false.

No, not everyone regains facial function after they recover from Ramsay Hunt syndrome. 

"People can recover from some of the changes, though is, how aggressively it's treated and how aggressively it is attacking the body, so it can be permanent such as hearing loss," Kohli said.

The National Library of Medicine said 70% of people regain normal or near-normal facial function. 

RELATED: Justin Bieber suffering facial paralysis from rare disorder


Is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome contagious? 


This is false.

No, Ramsay Hunt syndrome is not contagious, but chickenpox, which causes the syndrome is contagious.

The Mayo Clinic said the syndrome itself is not contagious. However, if there are blisters on the face with fluid, those can be contagious with direct contact with someone who has not had chickenpox. 

That person could get chicken pox or shingles in turn that could turn into Ramsay Hunt syndrome. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

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