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is it dangerous for my infant grandchild to be exposed to shingles?

Related Topics: Shingles, Infant

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Primary Care
6,467 Answers
76,032 Helpful Votes
Yes, active shingles (herpes zoster) is contagious by direct contact, and sometimes, even by indirect contact (hands, objects, clothing, etc.) if the exposure is fresh.

Infants have a very immature immune systems, so exposure to herpes zoster may cause chicken pox (varicella), the same virus. A child over one year is likely to have had the varicella vaccine and would be less vulnerable, but a child under age one is likely to be at risk. It would be best not to have direct contact with the baby at this time, at least until you shingles has completely resolved. As a grandparent, you can certainly SEE the baby...shingles is not airborne.

Since shingles can appear on many different body surfaces (chest, back, face, etc.), it is best to keep this area covered if possible until the lesions have resolved.

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