12 Replies
kim - August 6

if someone close to me have shingles and am pregnant is it dangerous to be close to that person.


to kim - August 6

My step dad came down with shingles a few weeks ago and since I was in my first trimester I had the same quesiton. Shingles are only contagious to people who have never had chicken pox. If you had the chicken pox you are safe. If you did not have the chicken pox then being close to someone with shingles might give you chicken pox. Either way, from what I have read it is not dangerous to the fetus. But the last thing you would want when pregnant is to have chicken pox. Have you already had it as a child? If so, you are safe.


E - August 6

Shingles can be contagious to ALL, whether you have had the CP or not. The varicella virus lies dormant in some people and doctors do not know why. People with compromised immune systems are at greatest risk for contracting shingles. This includes: elderly, hiv infected persons, and of course pregnant women. Do a google as there is plenty of info on this.


to E - August 6

I do not think you are right...well, at least according to the sites I have visited as well as to both my doctors (obgyn and family doctor.) They both told me that if I have the chicken pox antibodies I can not catch it. What you are talking about is people who come down with shingles...but that is a nervous condition and not because they "caught" it.


from webMD - August 6

Is shingles contagious? WebMD Public Information from the National Inst_tutes of Health As early as 1909 a German scientist suspected that the viruses causing chickenpox and shingles were one and the same. In the 1920's and 1930's the case was strengthened. In an experiment, children were inoculated with fluid from the lesions of patients with shingles. Within 2 weeks about half the children came down with chickenpox. Finally in 1958 detailed a___lyses of the viruses taken from patients with either chickenpox or shingles confirmed that the viruses were identical. This study also proved that a person with shingles can pa__s the virus to individuals who have never had chickenpox, but these individuals will develop chickenpox not shingles. A person with chickenpox cannot communicate shingles to someone else. In order for people to develop shingles they must already harbor the virus in their nervous system, and for those who do harbor the virus, having contact with someone with chickenpox will not trigger shingles. Additionally, a person with shingles cannot communicate shingles to another individual.


E - August 6

What is shingles? Shingles is a localized infection due to the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. It occurs only in people who have had chickenpox in the past and represents a reactivation of the dormant varicella virus. Why the virus reactivates in some individuals and not in others is unknown. Who gets shingles? The disease is primarily seen in the elderly, but occasionally occurs in younger individuals. It affects both s_xes and all races with equal frequency and occurs sporadically throughout the year. How is shingles spread? A person must have already had chickenpox in the past to develop shingles. Contact with an infected individual does not cause another person's dormant virus to reactivate. However, the virus from a shingles patient may cause chickenpox in someone who has not had it before. What are the symptoms of shingles? The first sign is often a tingling feeling on the skin, itchiness or a stabbing pain. After several days, a rash appears beginning as a band or patch of raised dots on the side of the trunk or face. It then develops into small, fluid-filled blisters which begin to dry out and crust over within a few days. When the rash is at its peak, symptoms can range from mild itching to extreme and intense pain. The rash and pain usually disappear within three to five weeks. How soon after infection do symptoms appear? The virus lies dormant in someone who has had chickenpox in the past. It can reactivate many years later. When and for how long is a person able to spread shingles? A person exposed to a patient with shingles will not get shingles but may get chickenpox. The virus is present at the site of the rash and is contagious for a week after the appearance of lesions (blisters). What are the complications a__sociated with shingles? Shingles is not usually dangerous to healthy individuals although it can cause great misery during an attack. Anyone with shingles on the upper half of their face, no matter how mild, should seek medical care at once. There is some danger that the virus could cause damage to the eye resulting in blindness. Complications are rare but may include partial facial paralysis (usually temporary), ear damage or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). What is the treatment for shingles? Most cases of shingles resolve on their own without specific treatment. Two medications available for use by physicians in treating immunocompromised patients are vidarabine and acyclovir. What can be done to prevent the spread of shingles? Chickenpox must be prevented in order to prevent shingles. A live attenuated viral vaccine against chickenpox was licensed in the U.S. in 1995 and is very effective (95% efficacy).


E - August 6

Aha. I should read the entire article b4 stating what I think I know.. Sorry:) I thougth it was contagious. Good to know you are safe. Thanks for the link. I won't forget it this time.


to E - August 6

No problem...It is just that I know how scared I got when I found out my step-dad had it and I had been hugging him the day I did not want Kim to worry...I have been hanging with him throughout my pregnancy and I am just as fine as all said I would be. But I am happy I had the chicken pox when I was kid...I had almost forgotten until my older bro reminded me what a pain I had


E - August 6

Yeah, I was just thinking if anyone would know, it would be a pregnant woman who was exposed. How scary!! You must have freaked.


bump - August 8

Here the info for the woman who wrot the august 8th ques on shingles


Sherry - August 10

wow this page was really helpful! I am 12 weeks preg and I just found out that my brother has shingles and I also have a one yr old who has just had his vacc for the virous! I was very scared because I had just come down with a nasty cold! But all seems to be well just a bad cold. wish you luck in your preg


- August 11

no it does not spread, when my dad had then i had a new baby and living with them, and the doc. said that we would be ok being around him


k - August 11

I had shingles when I was 15... I didn't know it was shingles at first because I didn't have a rash yet and was around my 5 year old brother a lot who had never had chicken pox... or been vaccinated. When I found out I had it my mother and I were worried he was going to get CP since it is contagious to people who haven't been exposed. He never got chicken pox and the doctor said it is not that usual for shingles to cause chicken pox especially if they are healthy... although it still can.



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