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Ask Dr. Norm S. Your Own Question
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11062
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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My daughter is pregnant with a due date of February, 2016.

Customer Question

My daughter is pregnant with a due date of February, 2016. She did I both had chicken pox as children. Last weekend, my wife and I were in the company of my 87 year old mother in law, who has just contacted Shingles. My daughter, my 2 year old granddaughter
and future grandchild will be visiting me from California this weekend. Can I still see them? Do I need to get a Shingles shot before they arrive?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 1 year ago.

Shingles is caused by reactivation of the chicken pox virus. Since you and your daughter have had chicken pox, you are immune to the virus.

No one catches shingles, but it is possible to catch chicken pox from a person who has shingles.

However, anyone who has had chicken pox or the chicken pox vaccine is immune and doesn't have to worry. Since most infants are given chicken pox vaccine at a year or so, most likely your 2 year old granddaughter is also immune.

However, they cannot catch chicken pox from you, and most likely your wife is also immune (over 90% of American adults are, whether they've had the vaccine or not).

If your wife isn't sure if she's had chicken pox or the vaccine, she could be tested. The incubation period is 14-16 days, so if she's not immune, there is a slight chance that she could come down with chicken pox and could be contagious before symptoms.

The shingles shot is recommended for all adults over age 60. It helps prevent shingles, but is not relevant to your daughter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there any problem for the unborn child if the circumstances are the same?
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 1 year ago.

The only problem for the unborn child is if your daughter developed chicken pox late in pregnancy. In that case, the baby could be born and become infected before receiving antibodies that your daughter would develop.

As long as your daughter has had chicken pox, there is no danger at all. The only risk would be if the newborn child were exposed to chicken pox.

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