Risk from shingles ??

Hi there , im probably being silly -- i was chatting to lady on the till in the shop and she told me she had been off work with shingles . She said they were all scabbed over so she was back at work. I had dose of rituximab last week could i still be at risk as its one of the things to be careful off. I washed my hands before I left the store and used a wipe on stuff id bought ( am I losing the plot ??) . Do you think her shingles could still have been infectious or am I just panicking. I have had a chest infection and now an ear infection in last 3 weeks 😷🙁

17 Replies

  • You may be at an increased risk due to your recent infusion but the good new is that her shingles were dry shingles as opposed to wet shingles, meaning that there were no longer any blisters and that the area had scabbed over.

    I'm on immunosuppressive meds and would feel the same as you. Key advice is to be hyper vigilant of any symptoms that could be characteristic of shingles and if any symptoms develop get straight to the GP, even if it's out of hours. If you do develop shingles they can only commence treatment in the first 48 hrs so it's important to nip it in the bud.

    Do remember that you will be hyper aware of the risk because she told you about her shingles. I try and rationalise the concerns that I sometimes have by thinking that I could be standing next to anyone in a supermarket or hospital who is carrying something nasty and not know about it. It's a difficult one.

    Good luck and I hope the infusion helps.

  • Thank you tulip, I think i was looking for a bit of reassurance as white cell count is low 🙄

  • Just keep a beady eye out for symptoms and look after yourself by not overdoing it if your wbc is low. When I worked in oncology nurses were allowed back to work if they had been off with shingles if they felt well, the scabs were dry and the area was covered. They were allowed to work with patients who were on chemo but obviously precautions were taken if they were deemed to be a health risk to patients.

  • Thanks, that does make me feel better, i have called the rheumy nurse but still waiting to hear back 🌸

  • Apparently it is THEORETICALLY possible to catch chicken pox from someone with shingles if you have not had CP yourself - but it almost never happens. You would have to come in contact with the fluid in the blisters. Anyway, once the blisters are scabbed over there should be no risk at all. In shingles the virus is only present in the blisters - it is not being shed in droplets when they cough or sneeze - so once the blisters are gone, no risk. Once the CP rash is all scabbed over CP patients are no longer infectious either.

  • Thanks for advice, keeping fingers crossed!

  • My son had shingles and I am on immunosuppressant drugs. I was fine. I had chicken pox as a child.

  • Thanks , i think i had chicken pox though not sure . My kids all had it and i didnt get it then so hopefully im immune .

  • Hopefully you will be ok. I remember how nervous I was living in the same house when my son had shingles.

  • The last time i had rituximab in april my son had the noravirus . I went though dozens of bottles of bleach !!!!!

  • Call your doctor, get info re shingles. If the fellow employee's condition is found to be iffy, I'd talk to personnel or someone in charge, state your apprehension because of your condition and to suggest that a note from the doctor be required in cases of communicable diseases. Hopefully, all is well.

  • I had shingles in November and December on my spine and around my right side to my middle and forked off onto my kidney transplant scar. It is the thing from Hell, makes you incredibly unwell and the pain, the devil's grip! Now I have walking problems afterwards. I haven't had chicken pox so don't know where this virus came from. I was ill 2 weeks before the first rash developed. Apparently shingles is only contagious if you touch the blistered rashes on someone with it.

  • I had shingles last year, came right out of the blue and its very painful. Saw my gp who said the virus is there in your body and sometimes becomes active. I had chicken pox as a child and apparently the virus stays with you, I hadn't caught it from anyone. As the others have said its the fluid in the blisters that's infectious

    I'm 70 and its the first time I've experienced shingles. My doctor prescribed a cream for the nasty rash and blisters, couldnt have any drugs because of damaged kidneys, the cream did its job. Its bothered me from time to time since last year, the sharp stinging pains have come and gone but generally its cleared up. Try not to worry, I'm sure you'll be fine xxx :)

  • Hi chris and manda , sorry to hear you both had shingles🙄 I think i should be ok , im just a bit of a worrier! i hope you both don't get a reoccurrence as it sounds very painful 🌷

  • A wee update ! The rheumy nurse phoned- she told me I should be ok as a blood test prior to the treatment showed i have an immunity to chicken pox which is good. There is a chance you can still get shingles but if it is crusted over it should be ok. I didnt know this had been tested for so i will more clued in if i have more rituximab !!

  • I have Rituximab infusion last October and November and I try to stay away from people for a few weeks just to be on the safe side.

    Since November I've had antibiotics each month so be careful 💐👨‍⚕️

  • Thanks maureen , i do try to avoid crowds etc and I haven't been out much😷 Which drives me a bit nuts . Like you i have had alot of infections but thankfully nothing too severe , but it would be nice to have a bit of "WELL" time 🌸🌸

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