SHINGLES

Amanda - posted on 07/04/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My younger sister (she's 18) called me today because she has shingles. I had to look up the info on the internet because I've never known anyone who ever had it. The main issue is that I have a 13 month old who spent the weekend with them and she has a 6 month old baby. Now my daughter has had her chickenpox vaccination so I know that it's unlikely that she will get the virus, however, the doctor told my sister that she shouldn't even hold her baby until it clears up. Is that a little extreme or is it really that contagious?

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Heather - posted on 07/04/2010

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Shingles is a re occurrence of the same virus that causes chicken pox, however it is not airborne like chicken pox is, it is transmitted by direct contact with the rash. Had your sister already broke out in a rash when your child was visiting? If not, then I wouldn't worry too much for your daughter since she has also had her chicken pox vaccine.

As far as your niece, the reason that the Dr. does not want your sister to hold her daughter, is most likely because it is spread through skin to skin contact and the fact that a 6 month old has not yet had her chicken pox vaccine (usually given between 12-15 months for the first dose) but she also has her hands in her mouth alot could cause a pox outbreak in the mouth or eyes (which in some cases can cause vision problems and even blindness) Your sister should keep all the areas that have broke out in a rash covered, and wash her hands often and before touching her baby and anything her baby may come in contact with. This is the best and most effective way to prevent spreading the virus to others. Your sister is only contagious while the rash is in blister form, not before, and not after the blisters have formed a crust, which is usually within 3-5 days after the blisters have formed. Once the crust forms, she is no longer contagious even though the rash may last up to 4 weeks. Hope that helps and I hope your sister feels better soon :)

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Abbie - posted on 07/05/2010

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Also your sister should not be around any pregnant women, its not harmful to the women but can be very dangerous for the unborn baby

Amanda - posted on 07/05/2010

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Thank you alll so much. She just noticed the rash yesterday and it's very small so we aren't sure how long she's had it. When I checked it last night it didn't look like it was blistery, it looked like an allergy rash. Her doctor put her on meds for it and I will pass along your advice. Again, thank you

Heather - posted on 07/04/2010

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Amanda, shingles is not spread through the air...only direct contact with the rash. Chicken pox is transmitted through the air and skin to skin contact. Shingles is ONLY contagious during blister form (not 2 weeks before) and until the blisters have crusted over.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/shin...

here is a link from the CDC that explains how shingles are spread, I am a Pediatric Nurse and have seen many, many cases of chicken pox and shingles over the past ten years, and trust me good and frequent hand washing and keeping that rash covered are the very best ways to prevent spreading it.

Amanda - posted on 07/04/2010

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Shingles is chickenpox, yes it is that contagious. It is spread 2 weeks before poxs or symtoms of shingles even shows up, so not holding her baby is a tad extreme, since she has been exposed for weeks now. Chickenpox/shingles is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact and respiratory droplets (for example, coughing, sneezing) from the infected individual.

As for your child, chicken pox vaccine does not prevent chicken pox, it just lessens the side effects of chicken pox.

Kathy - posted on 07/04/2010

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I've never had shingles, but my dad did, from what I remember they are very scary, I would watch your baby for signs of chickenpox eve if she's vaccinated, just to be safe. The shingles virus being the same as the chickenpox virus tells me that it's just as easily spread. I would say its more a precaution, but not one I'd even consider ignoring.

Kelina - posted on 07/04/2010

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has her baby had the vaccine? The thing with the vaccines is that they're not 100% you can still get what you're vaccinated for, it's just milder. And if I remember correctly chiken pox in a child that age can be really serious. More than likely it's just a precaution.

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