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Shingles & Pregnancy

(6 Posts)
Chlosha Fri 05-Oct-12 16:31:35

Hi, my partner is going out tomorrow night with a mate who has shingles, (my partner has had chicken pox) can he still catch this/carry it? I am 8-9 weeks pregnant am I at any risk of getting this (I'm not going). I have had chicken pox many years ago. Am I worrying over nothing?

mrsbugsywugsy Fri 05-Oct-12 16:35:58

As I understand it you can catch chicken pox from someone with shingles, but only if you haven't had chicken pox before (except in v rare cases where you have had it but haven't built up immunity)

If you and your DP have both had it before, then you would have to be very very unlucky to both be the rare cases of people who get it twice.

Not sure if your DP's friend should be going out in public if he has shingles though, as he will be contagious to other people who are vulnerable to catching chicken pox

Ellypoo Fri 05-Oct-12 16:51:33

I am also 8/9 weeks pg too, and was supposed to be going to a work event last week, and there was someone going who had shingles - I called my MW who recommended that I stayed away just to be on the safe side, not worth the risk. Can you speak to your MW just to check? I had also had chicken pox years ago.

Chlosha Fri 05-Oct-12 16:59:48

My thoughts exactly mrsbugsywugsy, I think I should be ok but it is a worry & like you said should he really be going out?! I may ask tomorrow if I can get hold of anyone Ellypoo, just don't want to get anything that I can prevent.

mummy2benji Fri 05-Oct-12 17:11:01

Hmm, tricky one but your partner's friend probably shouldn't be going out in public with shingles (I'm a GP). Pregnant women or anyone with a reduced immune system who might come into contact with him run the risk of getting chicken pox. The theory is that you can only get chicken pox once - but unfortunately there are some infections that give rashes which don't look entirely dissimilar to chicken pox, and I have seen plenty of patients who clearly have chicken pox who have told me they thought they had had it before. So unless someone has had a blood test to confirm their immunity to it, you can't 100% say that you definitely can't catch it. Your partner would be unlikely to catch it if he is otherwise well and healthy, even so. Shingles is contagious from touch, so how infectious your friend is depends on where he has the rash and how big it is. If he has to go out in public then covering it with a dry dressing would be sensible. But if he is just wanting to go out for a regular night out, he would be best to wait until the spots have all completely crusted over and he is no longer infectious - probably 5-7 days from the onset of the spots appearing. Hope that helps x

Chlosha Fri 05-Oct-12 17:27:23

That really helps mummy2benji, I know I am over cautious but I had an early misscarriage before this pregnancy so am paranoid as you can see;). I do not know how long he has had it, know it is on his back though. It helps just airing my worries on here & getting immediate answers, thanks to all of you. I'm kinda hoping he'll call it off but doubt it! Xx

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