Looking for advice please. I'm over in Tenerife, back on Monday. My young grandson has chicken pox, just. I've been asked to look after him next Wednesday, I'm worried about getting shingles. I haven't had the vaccine & I'm not sure if I've left it to late? Since last October I've never felt so unwell in all my life with one virus after another & I'm just starting to feel better. I've said yes of course I'll look after him but I'm I being stupid 😞

33 Replies

  • I see you have WiFi, tons of advice on NHS choices that I would look at to help you decide xxx

  • Thanks, I'll take a look.

  • I'd just add err on the side of caution and get the vaccination. Children tend to get bugs and at least you know he has this one. I hope he's not too ill with it.

  • I can't seem to find out if the vaccine takes effect immediately. If I can arrange to have it done on Tuesday will I be covered on Wednesday?

  • I don't know can you ring your GP and ask ?

  • I'm traveling home on Monday so will ring them on Tuesday but I'm aware it'll probably be to late.

  • Unfortunately you can't just get a shingles have to be in a certain age bracket.

    If you are not in that bracket it's mega expensive!

    It tried last year......just before I got shingles!

  • No I don't full into that age bracket. I'll be fine I'm sure.

  • I had this worry a couple of weeks ago as just had biologics and had contact with someone with shingles . Was told prior to treatment would have been tested for immunity ( I don't know what treatment you receive) and I should be ok . Also the shingles had started to crust over which means that shouldn't be infectious. If you have any concerns re contracting shingles you should avoid the babysitting or check with your doctor for advice . I hope you keep well x

  • I was tested for whatever antibodies they test for & was told I had them....which I thought meant as I'd had chickenpox I wouldn't get shingkes! But I contact with anyone with it......just out of the blue.

    I was treated 36 hrs after I saw the rash & was given anti virals & anti biotics straight away.

    Luckily only had mild case in my scalp & forehead ...but the pins & needles headaches still bother me a year later!

    So do try to keep away if you know there is a chance of can be a long old process.

  • I just take Hydroxychoroquine. Hopefully he'll be on the mend as well. Both mum & dad have to work & there's no one else they will trust & I must admit I love looking after him. Just being extra cautious after the last few months that I've had.

  • If you're only on hydroxy then very little difference to your immune system.'ve had a rough few months, and went to Tenerife to recharge so it would be a shame to wipe out the benefits immediately. Is there really no one else? If there really, really isn't then try to be extra careful. Lots of games about washing hands and wiping noses, and defeating Mr Germ and his many, many offspring. And try to limit the sticky kisses.

  • No Helix, there's no one else. He's just turned one & normally goes to nursery two days a week. Mum has just started back to work so wouldn't look good taking time off work so soon. I'll be fine just a bit anxious that's all but the response I've had on here has been reassuring. Thanks

  • Not 100% sure, but don't think you can catch shingles from chickenpox, but you can catch chickenpox from someone who has shingles. Don't quote me on that but am sure that's the case.

  • You havnt said what medications you are on as there are some bio therapies and i think others that you should definately avoid chicken pox if possible as if caught then you would not have the normal defence against shingles. These meds akso tend to be the ones that tell you not to have live vaccines, thst doesnt include flu or pneumonia jabs which are both inert but many travel vaccines cant be taken.


  • I only take Hydroxychoroquine so reckon I'll be fine.

  • You can't catch shingles - it is the chickenpox virus that gets reactivated after lying dormant in your body. Please try not to worry! If you've had chickenpox then it's extremely unlikely you will get it again as most people become immune after exposure, you may develop shingles if your immune system is low but it won't have anything to do with other people's chickenpox!

    All 3 of my kids have had chickenpox while I've been on serious ra drugs and I was fine!

  • Thanks that's reassuring.

  • It is a common misconception- but you cannot catch shingles from chicken pox. This was explained to me by my GP when I had shingles.

    When you have chicken pox the virus is stored, dormant, in your spinal cord. Sometimes the virus gets reactivated - say if you are run down- and then you get shingles. However, if you have shingles you are able to infect people with chicken pox. You don't say if you have had chicken pox but you could catch that from your grandson.

    Hope that helps


  • Yes I believe I have & I've looked after my own my sisters & friends children who've had it, so reckon I'll be ok. Just a bit anxious after the last few months that I've had.

  • I've had chicken pox once as a child and mild shingles on my shoulder five times as an adult 😩

  • Unlucky or maybe lucky that it was mild!

  • I haven't read all the replies to you Caza but I would urge caution. I had this conversation with a nurse only last week. She said as long as the lesions were covered up or healed I shouldn't be at risk (a friend has had a 9 month case of Shingles). However she also said that should I catch it, to get anti viral treatment urgently. I'm on Enbrel, the advice is to avoid. I am just as daft when it comes to my grandchildren but I would draw a line at Shingles. It can be such a long haul and desperately painful. Ask yourself how much less useful will you be to your family if you got Shingles on top of everything else. I bet they'd prefer you to look after yourself on this occasion. How would you feel if you have something serious to your grandchild or children? They could feel the same guilt! Do take care.

  • Come next Wednesday he'll have had it for a week so hopefully not so infectious 🤞🏻

  • Hiya,

    Just to reassure you that you can NOT catch shingles.

    Chickenpox can spread chickenpox

    Shingles can spread chickenpox

    However, being immunosuppressed can trigger the chickenpox virus again and you may develop shingles, but that's nothing you can catch.

    Enjoy your day with your grandson, hopefully it won't be bothering him too much by then xx

  • I've just received a couple of pictures of him, the poor little lad is smothered, still smiling though. Thanks for your reply

  • If all the spots have dried and crusty then the infectious phase is over. This was what I was told when I had shingles and when to return to work.

  • Yes think your right, hopefully the worst will be over by Wednesday 🤞🏻

  • Ment to say my son had nora virus just after i had biological treatment so just loads of bleach and hand sanitizer nd all was well

  • Well 🤞🏻all will be fine.

  • You should be okay. Like some others have's the person with shingles who can give someone chicken pox if they have never had them. Just be as cautious as you would be with any child. lol Enjoy your time, drinks lots of fluids and stay as stress free as possible to keep your well earned immunity in check. Your biggest job will probably be keeping him from scratching. lol

  • I was only talking to a mum whose child had chickenpox and the next day I had the symptoms of shingles the pain was awful. The spots came six days later, take it from me stay away.

  • Thanks for your reply, poor you. It's to late I'm already here for three days 🤞🏻🤞🏻

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