How contagious is chickenpox

Patient

Q: My son who doesn't live with me, has come out with chickenpox, and i would like to go see him , but i am worried as my girlfriend is 8 weeks pregnant(who i do live with) will become ill or cause problems with the unborn baby?, if i am in contact with my son. i have already had chickenpox when i was younger, but would not like to put any risk to my unborn child. also if is a problem , how long should i stay away from my son?

Doctor

A:   I do understand your concern about the risk of getting chickenpox and it efecting your girlfriend. Certainly if chickenpox develops during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy particularly between weeks 8 and 20 the baby faces a slight risk of a rare group of serious birth defects known as congenital varicella syndrome. However, let me reassure you that since you've had the infection when you were young, this would certainly decrease the chances of developing it. This virus will continue to be contagious until all the lesions in the skin of your son are completely dry, this usually takes about 15 days, the best thing to do to be absolutely sure is to avoid contact till the lesions heal. I hope this helps, take care.

Related Q&A

Q: Is it possible for me to be pregnant? Are these signs? Is it too early to tell? I had unprotected sex on 12/16/16, an...

Q: I had my period from 12- 18 and realised drops of blood from 18-25.had sex on 5-10 but he produced outside .i feel bl...

Q: Hello, I took the morning after pill (19th November) whilst I was at the end of my first period and within two weeks ...

Q: Hi I had unprotected sex on my ovulation day or at least around that time. But I still had my period thirteen days a...

Q: On the poor advice from someone at Planned Parenthood (who I think was a volunteer and not a professional), about a w...

 
DOCTOR ADVISORY BOARD
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews