Hi! I don't usually post here, but am looking for wisdom. I have a very good friend who suffers from chronic shingles. Now that I am pregnant I have been trying to research the topic and see if I have reason to be concerned. I had chicken pox as a child.
I have read that you are immune if you have had chicken pox, but also that you can still catch it regardless. Is it only contagious if she has wound flare ups?
At my next appt I will see if I can get a blood test to test immunization. Does anyone have experience in this?
Here is a great article with some basic facts from the National Institue of Health. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/shingles.html You can only get shingles if you have had the chicken pox. Having chicken pox does not make you immune. It also spread from direct contact with the lesions not through the air. I worked with a few patients who had shingles when I was pregnant with DS and was just extra careful. I had no issues.
I have to work in close contact with patients with shingles on a regular basis, so I asked my doc about this at my first appointment. She said that although you can catch chickenpox from someone with active shingles, since I'm immune to chickenpox I and my baby would be fine.
It's true that you can only get shingles after having chickenpox because its a reactivation of the same virus, but It's not contagious by contact. The dormant virus activates in times of stress or if the immune system is compromised.
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