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How Long Will My Shingles Last And Be Contagious To People Who Have Not Had Chicken Pox?

I was recently diagnosed with shingles. It is extremely painful and I can barely function. They started me on Valtrex yesterday. My problem is that I am due with a baby is 2 1/2 WEEKS. The Doctor said that if my Shingles are not gone then my baby will get chicken pox. Does anyone know how long it should take to go away with my Valtrex. I am so worried. Thanks in advance.

2 Thoughts on “How Long Will My Shingles Last And Be Contagious To People Who Have Not Had Chicken Pox?

  1. nursegai on September 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm said:

    I am sorry you have to deal with this when you are pregnant I am sure it is very scary for you, and Lord knows it is extremely painful! If you have to have Shingles or Chicken Pox while pregnant, you are in the better of the time periods right now. Before 30 weeks there is a chance of birth defects, if acquired just before birth it can cause very serious complications. If acquired during this time period your body has a couple of weeks to deal with the virus and to help protect your baby, and that is what it will attempt to do. In the next couple of weeks your body will build up what they call antibodies. These antibodies will be passed on to the baby and will help the baby deal with the virus should it still be present at the time of birth. They say that if you have an outbreak of shingles or Chicken Pox 5 – 21 days prior to birth then you will have the opportunity to build up these needed antibodies anything more than 21 days and I suppose you clear the virus and anything less than 5 days does not allow for you to build up the needed antibodies. You are so close to the far end of this time table with 2 1/2 weeks to go. If I were you I would feel more comfortable than not. Combined with the fact that you are on the anti-viral drugs, I would try to relax and enjoy the last couple of weeks of your pregnancy. Try to make a calm and nurturing environment for you and your unborn baby. Do not feel like you have to be superwoman! Do what you have to do to make yourself comfortable physically and this includes taking your medication. Your child is mostly developed, so if you need something for the pain take it. Your doctor will not prescribe anything that will harm you or your baby so if he says it is OK to take then by all means take it. Listen to what your doctor has to say. He will be honest with you. He/ she will tell you up front of the potential complications of this situation. They are not in the habit of sugar coating or lying about important issues such as this.If you have questions make sure you ask, and if you feel that you can’t get his/her attention, make sure to demand it! Good luck.

  2. TweetyBi on September 15, 2016 at 1:46 am said:

    Herpes zoster is what you’re calling “shingles” . Yes it painful, more painful for some. Outbreaks can last 3-4 weeks but 7-10 days is an average duration. I imagine your doctor prescribed for daily therapy. Is that correct? I don’t know your dosage but a typical protocol for treating h. zoster might be 1000mg three times a day for 7 days. It should take a week to control your symptoms but take it for as long as your doctor has recommended. Outbreaks don’t happen often during a pregnancy. Valtrex is not associated with birth defects. Having an outbreak late in your pregnancy makes it possible for the baby to be infected with chickenpox. And if you have an outbreak more than five days before you give birth, you may transfer the disease to the baby. Your doctor is quite correct. But even if the baby is born with chicken pox, he/she can be treated and at this stage of your pregnancy, birth defects aren’t an issue. You’re past the 30 week mark. Why didn’t you ask your doctor this question???? Oh and as to how long will your condition be contagious to those who haven’t had chicken pox — the virus responsible for both chicken pox and h. zoster is the varicella zoster virus, or VZV. It’s in the fluid in the blisters. You’re most contagious during an outbreak when the lesions have erupted into open, draining sores but you can keep the lesions covered. It takes direct and prolonged contact with the drainage or open sores to transmit VZV. With h. zoster, it isn’t transmitted by casual contact, sneezing or coughing. But if you are sharing sex toys, be sure to wash them well between use and between partners.

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