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Shingles - Contagious and Vaccine
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idicaii posted:
Hello all!

My partner was diagnosed with shingles yesterday. So far he only has the early symptoms and no rash or blisters, but those should arrive soon.

We have a large group family vacation planned for the end of July with all ages represented; parents, grand parents, children, etc. Looking at the calendar he MAY be lucky and be over the virus with any blisters healed by the time we go, but then again.... maybe not?

We're concerned about how contagious he'll be and what sort of precautions we should take. Specifically should we urge the older members of our group to get the shingles vaccine.

Does anyone know how long after the vaccine does it "protect" you? Or is there a "window" after taking the vaccine that you don't want to be around anyone who's got actual shingles for fear of being hit with a double dose? The last thing we'd want to do is have people take the vaccine and then put them actually in MORE danger of getting shingles!

We're not so worried about the kids, obviously there is a risk of chickenpox but that's not nearly so worrisome as shingles.

Thanks for any advice and suggestions!!

- Rodney
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Mary Ruth Buchness, MD responded:
Rodney,
Didn't the doctor treat your partner? One week of antiviral medication, like Valtrex, would end the infection, the worry about contagion, the need for anyone else to get vaccinated, and the potential nerve damage that your partner could suffer with untreated shingles. Either ask his doctor about this, or have him see someone else!
 
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idicaii replied to Mary Ruth Buchness, MD's response:
Mary,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, he is on antiviral meds and I think it is Valtrex. The doctor told us it could be 2-4 weeks to get through the infection and my partner tends to heal slowly. However we were checking his sores last night and they look like they're healing already, so your one week estimate may be right for him!

We wanted to err on the side of caution as we've heard so much about how contagious this can be and even his doctor refused to touch his skin.

Hopefully he's nearing the end of this already and will be 100% by our trip!

Thanks,

Rodney


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