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Question
I was just diagnosed with shingles. I have a six week old baby and am worried that she will get chicken pox (I breastfed her with just her diaper on and she was laying on my stomach where the shingles are). Will the fact that I already had chicken pox protect her?

Answer
Hi, Kristi,

I want to explain this to you.  You have shingles because you had Cpox in the past.  You have to have had Cpox to have shingles.  Shingle is a reactivation of a long dormant Cpox virus.  It is contagious by touch.  You have Cpox antibodies in your body that should provide your baby protection until at least 4-6 months of age.  Since one can get shingles is one is not immune to Cpox, and since you can get Cpox from exposure to a person with shingles only by direct touch of the shingles lesions, it would be reasonable to have your baby not touch the shingles.  Even if she does, it is unlikely she will get Cpox.

Good luck, Dr. Olson

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David Olson, MD

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I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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