Patient: I have been diagnosed with shingles today. The doctor told me that it is not contagious but after reading up on it i have some concerns. My girlfriend is not immune to rubella and has had chicken pox twice. Is it safe for her to be around me while i have shingles? We are both 28 years old. I have a 3 year old and a 10 year old child that both have never had chicken pox.is it safe for them to be around me? Your responce will be greatly appreciated.thank you.
Symptoms: Rash and pain on left side chest, arm and back
Doctor: Thank you for your question. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus responsible for chicken po x. The rubella virus on the other hand causes measles, a different infectious disease all together. Shingles is not contagious to persons who have already had chicken pox, but can infect those how have not had it. Your girlfriend can be infected by measles if she is not adequately immunized against rubella, however she will not be at any risk if she comes in contact with you while you are recovering. We hope this clarifies your concern.Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com