Exposure to shingles.: My daughter, age 43, has... - PMRGCAuk


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Exposure to shingles.

Hindags profile image

My daughter, age 43, has been diagnosed with presumptive case of shingles. She's being treated with an antiviral. I had chicken pic, herpes zoster oticus ( same as daughter, coincidence?) And I have had the shingles vaccine? Should I stay away from her and if so for how long?

Btw, the other potential diagnosis was GCA.

I have been diagnosed with PMR, not GCA, but plenty of symptoms early on that worried me and rheumy about lurkng, but undeclared GCA.

Really worrisome.

10 Replies

Hello Hindhags, When my grandson had Chicken Pox and I was his main carer, I had a blood test to check my immunity because I haven't had it. I was immune and carried on caring for him dabbing each little spot with Camomile lotion after an oatmeal bath. I was fine. Shingles comes from the Chicken Pox virus that lies dormant and it's a nasty, lowering, painful condition, my mum had it once.

I wonder if there is any merit in you having anti virus just in case?

You've had the jab. If it was me, I wouldn't stay away from my daughter ( unless I wanted to😉).

If I understand correctly a person is infectious before the blisters show.

Sorry you are in limbo about GCA. I am a bit in the same boat with a possible Aortic Stenosis, presumably caused by Vasculitis,inflammation. I am waiting for tests. You think you've put it to the back of your mind, but a gnawing gloom descends out of the blue and there's your worry. You'll be alert to the symptoms and the treatment is a large dose of Pred 40 mgs +

You're probably as safe as any of us can be. Take care.

Thank you so much for your supportive and understanding reply. I just found this discussion and an older post by PMRpro:

"The risk for coming in contact with cases of CP or shingles when on pred is actually only for people WHO HAVE NEVER HAD CHICKENPOX.

You can only develop shingles IF you had chickenpox as a child - the virus goes into hibernation in the nerve endings in certain parts of the body. Something wakes it up - and you develop shingles. If you are in contact with someone with shingles and you have not had CP in the past - you can catch CP from shingles, but you can't "catch" shingles from CP."

I think I understand this. lol. What I'm not sure of is whether someone who has had CP and shingles (in my middle ear= herpes zoster oticus) and the shingles vaccine but is on Pred runs a risk of getting shingles again if exposed to shingles.


Ouch! Your middle ear God that's cruel. Presumably the vaccine is to protect you from that eventuality by alerting the right anti bodies.

I don't know do I Hindhags?

I hope you don't you've done your time.

Hi There. At the moment I am starting to recover from shingles. As I understand it, shingles is only infectious if someone who hasn’t had chickenpox actually touches the blisters. They can then catch chickenpox from the shingles blisters. Shingles cannot be caught from someone who has chickenpox. As SJ has explained, herpes varicella zoster,the chickenpox virus does not go away but lies dormant. At a later date something triggers it into life and we get the dreaded shingles. Very painful as I am finding out at the moment.

Liz. X

As far as I know & no expert you can get shingles a second time.

polymy profile image
polymy in reply to Parijm

You can indeed have shingles multiple times. This is my second time.


PMRpro profile image

You are no more likely to develop shingles from her than from the shingles vaccination (yes, that is a possibilty. As is developing PMR). You don't catch shingles - you develop it because the CP virus is in hibernation in the nerve endings where it migrated too at the end of your bout of CP. No-one knows what wakes it up.

Theoretically, if you hadn't already had it, you COULD catch CP from someone with shingles if you came into close contact with the fluid in any blisters - it isn't known to have happened though.

And there is no point having antivirals as a precaution - it only works once the virus is active again. So if you have any symptoms of shingles at all - straight to the doctor. You have 48 hours to start to take antiviral medication and it have a supressant effect on the symptoms.

I thought the maker of the shingles vaccine lists shingles as a side effect.

Sorry...I said that wrong!! I thought the maker of the shingles vaccine (Merck?) lists PMR as a side effect if the vaccine...?

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Klah

You weren't wrong:


and yes - PMR is listed as an adverse event...

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