Chicken Pox Shingles And Measles: When diagnosed in... - PMRGCAuk


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Chicken Pox Shingles And Measles


When diagnosed in December my gp gave me a print out about PMR. It explained that it was important to avoid people with the above mentioned infections. However I attend two meetings weekly and several friends attending are recovering from shingles. I am wondering if it’s wise to stay away for a bit as I haven’t had shingles and being diabetic my immune system will be low. Just wondering if anyone experienced a similar situation? Appreciate any replies.

24 Replies
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

Did you have CP as a child? If so, the virus stays in your system I believe which means it can activated shingles as an adult. If that’s the case I would be a bit wary

If the meetings are next week I would check with your surgery on Monday.

Yes It can be a very nasty and painful infection. People are infectious until the vesicles have scabbed. I would avoid your friends until they are no danger to you which is about 4 weeks

Thank you, I started on 30 mags of Pred in December and have tapered to 10mgs now, Had flu in January then bronchitis which worsened my asthma, and arthritis, also my fibromyalgia. Just want some respite now,so being careful. Can’t recall having chicken pox as a child, my children have had it though.

You are probably immune. I tested immune, I haven’t had chicken pox and successfully nursed my grandson through it. Including dabbing the spots with Camomile lotion. I understand that the contagious part is the fluid in the blisters. I would see my friends but I wouldn’t kiss them.

Thank you for your reply, much appreciated. Will have to put a no kissing sign around me lol. It’s obviously important though for to have written instructions from the doctors guidelines on the print out I was given when diagnosed in December. Have a lovely weekend!

Aleish in reply to SheffieldJane

Just curious, isn’t the vaccine for chicken pox mandatory for children in UK?

EdithWales in reply to Aleish

I wish. All of our vaccinations are voluntary unlike some countries where children aren’t allowed to start school without them.

Aleish in reply to EdithWales

Please read my reply to Sheffield Jane and you will be happy the way your country has set it up.

SheffieldJane in reply to Aleish

No it isn’t because it is regarded as a mild disease and there are concerns that a wholesale provision of this vaccine could increase the incidence of Chicken Pox and Shingles in adults. You can pay for it in pharmacies. You can be tested for immunity in your GP’s surgery. I was and was found to have immunity and yet I never had the disease.

Aleish in reply to SheffieldJane

Unfortunately, they are overkill here in the states. We thought you all had mandatory in the same amount we have. I am one that does believe our very high rate of autism’s is a result of this. I believe these kids get almost 40 shots and the goal is to double it. The shots are still containing heavy metals. They mandate that every new born cannot leave the hospital without a Hep B vaccine, when in reality it should only be used on births from moms that use drugs. My first grandchild was born two years ago and obviously was given it. I did not know until after the fact, although I would of not been given the opportunity for input, I saw issues in the baby. My kids, not having any point of reference, were not aware of things, that were not typical of our infants. It’s become a major money maker for the pharmaceutical companies. They have a baby girl due in three weeks and I am not allowed to voice my opinion.

The are ways to get it deferred. I try not to think about it. Just curious if you know the rate of Autismn in your country. Also if not autism’s, they have Asberger Syndrome and also a scale of where they are on the Syndrome. Very scary and most definitely not normal. I tried to explain to them that certain vaccines are way more dangerous then the disease but they think Im crazy.

EdithWales in reply to Aleish

The incidence of Autistic Spectrum Disease which is the correct title here is frightening and there are no evidence based reasons. My grandson aged six has ASD and it’s heartbreaking. Other than a Section he had no birth trauma and had normal mile stones until he was around eighteen months. He had had his immunisation at the appropriate intervals. We are a medical family and I remember thinking, oh no that baby is vaccine damaged. As I said there is no concrete evidence

I believe in mass vaccination because it achieves herd immunity and I have seen a baby die with encephalitis however research does need to be ongoing

Jane is right about Chicken pox of cause, it’s probably a good idea if children catch it

SheffieldJane in reply to Aleish

I try not to think about it too much. My grandchildren were vaccinated against things that I have never heard of. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day a link is made with all these assaults on our immune system and autoimmune diseases like ours.

I am sure you are right Are you feeling better Jane ?

Thank you for asking. More resigned than better. Two little boys on FaceTime bouncing on the bed with sheer joy at the prospect of boring old me, really helped! Granny power!

Yes They certainly take you out of yourself nevertheless I would like to think you are fit enough to enjoy yourself

You can't actually "catch" shingles. However, if you have never had chicken pox you can catch chicken pox from exposure to the lesions of shingles. My understanding is that shingles is not particularly contagious and you do need very close contact to be infected. (I hope this is true as there is no record that I have ever had chicken pox.)

Thank you for your reply. Much appreciated.

I don’t think I made myself clear. You need not stay away from your friends for four

Sorry I Pad went wild , Shingles last four weeks however it is the most infectious while the vesicles( blisters) are active, that is when you are at the most risk of becoming infected yourself

You can’t catch shingles from anyone else. If you didn’t have chickenpox as a child, you can catch chickenpox from someone who has shingles if you come into contact with the watery virus laden fluid in a shingles spot. You are hardly likely to be messing with that! Shingles is not contagious/infectious. Chickenpox is.

EdithWales in reply to polymy

That’s right polymy you can’t catch Shingles but the vesicles are highly contagious and you can catch Chicken Pox as it’s all the same virus. Even if you have had CP it is known to get it again

Personally I wouldn’t risk it, we have enough to contend with without anything else

Dear Birdboxinthegarden,

First of all, what a WONDERFUL 'name'! Secondly my Understanding is- 'Avoid contact with Chicken Pox entirely'- Shingles, is an Odd one however. I looked into this myself, last year, due my Father having it- "Not contagious, especially at 'Distance', particularly once any Sores/ Lesions have healed". This is the best that I could Come Up With, on the Subject.

Sorry, that I, can't be more specific 'Bird Box In the Garden'- I bet you have a beautiful 'Rambling' garden, Pond?, Trees?, Wood Shed?, Stable? Am I Close? (or is it more- one Birdbox attached to an Old, half Dead, Tree (type unknown, it doesn't 'Do' much.))

Do you Watch the birds? When my Mother had her Bungalow, she sold it about eight months ago now, we used to sit in the garden. The birds were all in the Hedges, and on her Water Feature- they loved that. They would sit and twitter away, playfully Fighting, over the water- Happy days. Still I have my 'Own' Flat now, in 'Supported Living', and I must get in the Shower now...I'm all behind! Enjoy the birds.

Kindest Wishes



You don't CATCH shingles. You can only develop shingles if you have had chickenpox in the past, the virus remains dormant in nerve endings in particular places and may wake up and cause shingles. Theoretically it is possible to catch CP from being in contact with a case of shingles - but you would have to be in contact with the fluid in the blisters so it is pretty unlikely in public. Once they are scabbed there is no problem - just as is the case with CP once it is dry scabs. You don't shed the virus in coughs and sneezes with shingles as you do in CP.

Don't hug and kiss your friends - otherwise it isn't any different from being on the bus or sitting next to someone with shingles and not knowing.

The dire warning are really aimed at people who have never had CP in the past - increasing numbers since when we were children we were deliberately sent to play when our friends had childhood diseases!

I have GCA, and was warned at the outset to avoid people with shingles, and even those with coughs and colds, while my immune system is down due to taking steroids.

I have had such a bad time with the side-effects of Prednisolone - that I do what I'm told, and fend off my infectious friends.

Like PMRpro, I always understood that you can only develop shingles from your own earlier chicken pox - so I don't quite understand why my Rheumy warned me that - but I wouldn't risk it myself, right now. Maybe she was thinking of the slight possibility of getting chicken pox from one's shingly friend, as PMRpro mentioned. I do believe you can catch CP more than once.

I would fend off all infectious people for now - and hold a party for everyone when you are fully recovered.

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