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Old 02-14-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
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Shingles/Chickenpox question....

DS's paternal grandmother just found out she has shingles. We were over at her home 3 days ago. DS has never had chickenpox or shingles, nor has he had the Varicella vaccine. Anyone know if he might catch chickenpox from this?

Also, my mother says I have never had chickenpox, but I did have shingles when I was about 3-4 yrs old. No vaccine back then.... (I didn't know a child could get shingles and not ever have chickenpox) My old-fashioned family physician from when I was a kid says that I was immune to chickenpox since I had shingles. Is this true? Is there a chance that I might catch something like chickenpox or shingles from our visit?

If grandma just started having symptoms is it possible she was contagious 3 days ago????

Off to do some research of my own, but was hoping someone here might know also. TIA!!!

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Old 02-14-2009, 06:11 PM   #2
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Re: Shingles/Chickenpox question....

Odds are unless you or your LO actually touched the sores you're both fine. Shinlgles and Chicken pox are 2 different strands but very closely related and generally if you're immune to one you are to the other. Just watch for any little bumps, especially under the arms and on the torso.
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:11 PM   #3
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Re: Shingles/Chickenpox question....

Yes, your grandma was/is contagious (but not as contagious as if she had CP). My dh had Shingles and my then (unvaxed) 22 month old dd caught chicken pox from him. Now, you can't have Shingles without having contracted the CP virus - that's what Shingles is. The CP virus hibernates in the spinal cord and comes out as Shingles when the immune system is low or the person is stressed. They are the SAME virus. Now, if you had "Shingles" (which I find questionable since your mom says you didn't have CP) when you were little, you are immune, because you already have the CP virus in your body.
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:16 PM   #4
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Re: Shingles/Chickenpox question....

I just recently got Shingles and tried my HARDEST to get my kids to contract Chicken pox...I mean I shared utensils, took baths, gave lots of hugs and kisses and neither one got anything out of it. We don't vaccinate for that either..so I was hoping they'd get it and we'd be done..oh well.

Odds are he probably won't get it..but be on the look out anything. And, personally I've never heard of anything getting Shingles without having had Chicken pox...maybe you had such a mild case that no one noticed??
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:49 PM   #5
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Re: Shingles/Chickenpox question....

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Originally Posted by Mommy2LivandNoah View Post
And, personally I've never heard of anything getting Shingles without having had Chicken pox...maybe you had such a mild case that no one noticed??

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. My mom swears I never had CP, but somehow I came down with shingles at about age 3-4. Everything I read says same thing.... you can only get shingles AFTER having CP. So I figure I must have had a very mild case and no one noticed?????

I sort of wish my DS would go ahead and get CP so we could get it over with. But on the other hand, I was hoping he wouldn't get it until he was able to talk/communicate better. We'll see. I guess shingles isn't AS contagious as CP. Since the rash is on her back, under clothes I'm betting he won't get it, especially if you actually need to have contact with the rash itself.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:20 PM   #6
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Re: Shingles/Chickenpox question....

The incubation period for cp is 10-21 days and you can be contagious until the blisters pop and crust over so it's possible your son could contract it. Shingles is a reactivation of the chicken pox virus. It's similar to herpes in that it lives on your nerves forever and can be reactivated from time to time by a weakened immune system. And you CAN get chicken pox from someone with shingles. The best way to spread chicken pox is through saliva like sharing lollipops or sippy cups or utensils or giving kisses.


By the way, it's possible that you could have had a subclinical case of chicken pox and your shingles case was diagnosed later. The only way to be sure that someone is immune is to have their titres checked.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:13 AM   #7
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Re: Shingles/Chickenpox question....

Both of my boys got chicken pox from my nephew who had shingles. We did keep the area of shingles covered, washed hands, etc., but one got it and then then other.
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:17 AM   #8
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Re: Shingles/Chickenpox question....

You cannot have shingles without having even a mild cast of chickenpox. With chickenpox once the spots come out the person is past the contageous stage. Shingles is not the same. It is an autoimmune reaction. It is caused by the chicken pox virus (ie herpes) lying dormant in the nerves. It is also not contageous in the same way. You cannot get it by just being in the same room or hugging the person. You actually have to touch the open sores. Other than being really painful and annoying to the sufferer, it is of no danger to the child who is around the person who is sick with it. Therefore you cannot get it by sharing a cup, fork, ect.
Back when I was a kid when one kid in the neighbourhood got chicken pox, the mum's would all bring their kids over to have a "chicken pox" party. This is actually a very dangerous practice!!! By exposing a child intentionally to chicken pox, you could be also causing them to have complications including impentaigo, hospitalization, neuroligical complications, respiratory and liver complications, and very rarley even death.
I personally wouldn't be exposing my child intentionally to chicken pox in anyway. Also it is dangerous to an unborn child if the mother doesn't have the antibodies.
As for the shingles, as far as I know (and I did have them about 3 years ago, due to a lowered immune system after being on prednisone for 2 months) they cannot be spread to anyone else, unless as I said above the uneffected person touches the weeping sore.
As far as trying to get your child exposed to the virus, they will probably be exposed once they attend school, if you have chosen not to vaxx them against it to begin with. I don't know about you but the idea of a crabby, crying toddler or infant because of chicken pox doesn't seem like a fun time to me.
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:17 AM   #9
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Re: Shingles/Chickenpox question....

just FYI, the info I got was from one of my med books from school. But really he has been exposed now anyways, you cannot turn back time to 3 days ago. If he gets them he gets them, if he doesn't he doesn't
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:28 AM   #10
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Re: Shingles/Chickenpox question....

spotsmum your post is very judgemental in my opinion. there are those of us who do want to expose our children to the pox(MANY of us on DS actually). you are handing out the assumption that chicken pox is a deadly disease and that we are irresponsible parents by exposing our children and not giving them a vaccine. this vaccine, aside from being filled with dangerous preservatives and questionable material is a live virus that can cause this disease that you are so worried about. yes "they" say it's supposed to be a milder form but it is still exposing your child to something you consider so deadly and dangerous. and the efficacy of the vaccine into the later years is seriously questionable, thus the need for boosters. this leads to a rise in the risk of outbreaks of shingles and shingles are far more than just painful and annoying to the person who has them. i know from experience that they are AGONIZING burning pain and you run the risk of neuropathy. FAR more people die of shingles than chicken pox and just like silly things like getting your tonsils out as a kid, getting chicken pox/shingles as an adult is FAR FAR FAR more serious. So there are those of us who want a wild case of chicken pox for our children instead of a vaccine that could potentially wear off and subject our children to more harm than good. so as always, you are entitled to your opinion, but please temper your words a little more or cite resources and provide links with backup or quotes for us to further research before judging.
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