Friend has Shingles!

My very good friend has just found out she has Shingles, and is getting all the relevant anti viral treatment. My query is do I avoid contact with her until she is better? I had a good dose of chickenpox as a child.

I have PMR and currently have just come out of an awful flare up, thankfully all pains have settled and seem to be under control on 10 mg of steroids.

I seem to have a vague memory during my PMR journey that we should particularly avoid contact with chickenpox & Shingles, but maybe if you haven't had it in the past??

Can anyone advise me please?

12 Replies

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  • Were you in contact with her before she was diagnosed? If so, ring your GP and tell them.........having Chicken Pox previously makes no difference, I had it and then shingles twice. The second bout I got the anti stuff (cannot remember the name) and because I got that the second bout was stopped it its tracks. It has to be given within a 24 hour window.

  • Hi, as above the antiviral stuff does what it says on the tin! I think you have to be in very close contact but I'm no expert, better safe than sorry shingles is no fun. ☹️

  • Hi CT-5012

    As yet I haven't seen my friend for a few weeks, so not worried about having possibly contracted the virus off her. We were planning a day out catching up over coffee & cake no doubt. I suppose If I don't give her a hug then it may be ok?

    I know Shingles is supposed to be awful and having just got over a flare up I really don't want any further health problems!

    At I'm replying I think I'm talking myself out of meeting up until she's over it. It's just not worth it. Perhaps we will have to Skype with coffee & cake ☕️🍰 😁.

    Many thanks

  • Hi Jinasc

    No I have not been near my dear friend for a few weeks, so I'm not worried I may have caught anything at this stage. I'm just wondering if I should be avoiding contact? We were planning a day out.

    Many thanks

  • Contact GP and get advice re getting antiviral treatment, but needs to be sooner rather than later.

  • Hi DorsetLady

    Nice to hear from you, and I hope you are well!

    I don't think I made my query all that clear. I haven't had contact with this friend recently, so I'm not worried I may have been exposed to Shingles at this stage. I am just worried if we do meet up for a good old catch up, would I be at more risk having PMR and being on steroids? I think I know the answer really and best to avoid contact until she is over it. I've been feeling really well for a few weeks which is great and don't want anymore health problems.

    Many thanks

  • Okay - sorry misread post.

    As my husband used to say to his little soldier boys “read the @#*@## question!”

    Yes okay at moment, apart from bursitis in hip, but that’s finally on the mend - 6 weeks of massage and acupuncture and a lot lighter wallet! Not sure what hurt most 🤔

  • I had know idea what Bursitis was, so just googled, and ow it sounds really painful. Not much fun when trying to move about. I'm glad to hear your on the mend now. These things usually cost us, but if you get some relief it's got to be worth it, and as my

    Mother in law used to say, we can't take it with us!!

    All the best and see you soon no doubt.

    Kind regards

  • Hi,

    Yes B#£@# painful, but as I said only a niggle now.!

    I’m a tough old bird! But sometimes I think someone’s taking the mickey🤔

    Keep well.

  • The advice to avoid people with CP or shingles is for people who have never had CP. There are surprising numbers of them! You could theoretically catch CP from someone with shingles but it is very very rare - so rare that immunologists discount the risk as you would have to be in contact with the fluid in the blisters.

    You cannot CATCH shingles - you develop shingles when YOU had CP as a child, the virus becomes dormant in nerve endings in the body and something reactivates it. All sorts of things can do it - stress, other illness and seemingly nothing to link to it.

    The antiviral treatment is not needed until you have symptoms of either CP or shingles - it will not prevent you developing either, it only works on the active virus which is causing symptoms. So if symptoms appear you need a speedy trip to the doctor - there is a window of 72 hours after the symptoms appear.

  • Thank you for your very knowledgable advice PMRpro! That makes perfect sense, and I should be fine meeting up with my friend. Her blisters are around and under her middle & breast, so there is no reason I would be in contact with them.

    It's my wonderful and very protective husband who put the fear in me, when I told him about my friend. He has just been so supportive during my PMR journey. He came along to a PMRGCA meeting recently, we live in Dorset, and was asking more questions than me!

    Anyway thank you again!

    Kind regards

  • Thanks for sorting that out PMR pro, I think most of us misread the post. DL is quite right we should all read the question, some of us should probably read it twice. 😳

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