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Q.

My grandkids have not had chickenpox or the vaccine, I have just started to blister, should I stay away from them?

I was just told this morning I have shingles

Related Topics: Chickenpox, Shingles, Blister
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Family Medicine
61 Answers
2,317 Helpful Votes
37 Followers
A.

Yes. The same virus, the varicella zoster virus, causes both chicken pox and shingles. So someone with shingles can give the virus to someone who never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine.  

With shingles, the virus is transmitted by contact with the fluid from the blisters.  Shingles is not as contagious as chickenpox which can be spread through droplets in the air as well as by casual contact.  

The risk of spreading the virus when you have shingles is low if you keep all the blisters covered. Once the blisters have all crusted over, you will no longer be contagious. This usually happens within 7 to 10 days.

Here is what the CDC recommends to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus if you have shingles:

• Cover the rash

• Avoid touching or scratching the blisters

• Wash your hands frequently

• Avoid contact with pregnant women who have not had chicken pox or the vaccine, premature babies, and people with weakened immune systems

To be on the safe side, I would avoid contact with the grandkids until all the blisters are crusted over. You will be able to enjoy your grandchildren soon enough when you are feeling better.


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