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Partner has shingles. Is it contagious?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3030 Questions
hi my girlfriend has shingles can i catch it? she is 24
I have had the chicken pox when i was a child
Posted Sun, 2 Jun 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 2 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query,

Shingles or Zona is usually experienced due to a reactivation of silent Herpes zooster virus living quietly in the ganglia of nerves. This is the causative agent of chicken pox for sure. For some reasons, under certain circumstances, this virus is reactivated and presents itself as shingles. Conditions that favour this are usually stress, viral infections and immune depression such as in HIV AIDs and some tumors.

It is not a transmissible disease; especially you are not at risk, considering the fact that you already contacted the disease when you were young. You have already developed antibodies and have the viral particles in your ganglia, which of course are in-active.

The main issue here is she should be advised to get tested for the common conditions that predispose to development of shingles. Doing an HIV test and screening for Diabetes mellitus are the commonest associated conditions. There is still however a good number of normal patients without neither of these conditions that do develop shingles. Consulting her oral antiviral drugs, topical antivirals, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, analgesics and tricyclic antidepressants.

You need not be afraid of the risk of her transmitting it to you. But getting her do a proper clinical evaluation and laboratory testing is my advice. She should XXXXXXX her family physician.

Thanks and best regards,
Luchuo, MD.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Partner has shingles. Is it contagious? 1 hour later
Thank you so much for your response,

She went to the doctor and got medication, she wanted to know if there is anything she can do to help it pass faster.

Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 3 minutes later
Hi and thanks for the query,
The oral anti viral drugs and the local drugs to be applied to the lesions are sufficient. The adjustment of treatment shall depend on her clinical response to this initial therapy.
I suggest she takes her medication as prescribed and should not hesitate consulting her doctor in case the lesions increase in size, she experiences more pain or some unusual sign or symptom.
Thanks and best regards,
Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Partner has shingles. Is it contagious? 20 minutes later
thank you so much Dr. Luchuo
have a good day

Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 47 minutes later
Thanks so much and have a splendid day.
Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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