Jump to content

Shingles and Airbourne precautions

Disease   (64,223 Views | 6 Replies)

RNmilwife has 2 years experience and specializes in SNF, Oncology.

3,409 Profile Views; 80 Posts

Hello there, I took care of a pt that was on airborne/contact/neutropenic precautions. I understant the contact and neutropenic as the pt has shingles and is (of course) neutropenic. Question I have is why the airborne. I have never had to wear an N95 mask for something that has shingles. Can someone explain this one to me?

thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Germinator has 25 years experience and specializes in Infection control and ITU.

1 Post; 862 Profile Views

Hi, shingles is caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus which has an airborne transmission. its route of transmission is slightly different and the presentation is obviously different (inflammed blistered bands following a dermatone rather than the classic chickenpox vesicles) but it is still and airborne transmission.

I would not generally recommend the use of masks in shingles cases except to reduce the risk of unintentionally contaminating the open blisters and causing secondary infection. High filtration masks are only protective to a point but the most effective way of self protection is for you to have had chickenpox in the past or an immunity to chickenpox.

The rule here is that only staff who have an immunity to chickenpox should look after a shingles case. Masks in this case would only be used to protect the immunocompromised patient.

Hope this helps

Grant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

325 Posts; 9,083 Profile Views

Hi, shingles is caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus which has an airborne transmission. its route of transmission is slightly different and the presentation is obviously different (inflammed blistered bands following a dermatone rather than the classic chickenpox vesicles) but it is still and airborne transmission.

I would not generally recommend the use of masks in shingles cases except to reduce the risk of unintentionally contaminating the open blisters and causing secondary infection. High filtration masks are only protective to a point but the most effective way of self protection is for you to have had chickenpox in the past or an immunity to chickenpox.

The rule here is that only staff who have an immunity to chickenpox should look after a shingles case. Masks in this case would only be used to protect the immunocompromised patient.

Hope this helps

Grant

can patient with shingles infect the disease with a nurse without a history of chicken pox?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sauconyrunner has 11 years experience and specializes in Emergency.

553 Posts; 9,382 Profile Views

can patient with shingles infect the disease with a nurse without a history of chicken pox?

If a Nurse has not had Chicken Pox or the vaccine a person with the shingles can give them chicken pox.

CDC recommends Airborne and Contact precautions, but they are extremely vague, stating, "no recommendation" for type of mask that HCW's need to wear, so it does not apparently have to be an N 95 mask. Kind of odd that CDC recommends airborne precautions but doesn't recommend a type of mask.

and Grant is also correct, the best thing in this case would be to have nurses who have been vaccinated or have history of chicken pox care for the pt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

325 Posts; 9,083 Profile Views

thanks for your reply.

Since Zoster is an reactivation of a previous history of chicken pox, is it possible to infect (into shingles) the people who had chicken pox?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

325 Posts; 9,083 Profile Views

thanks sauconyrunner,

i learned from the weblinks that its still possible for people who had chickenpox to get infected by a person with shingles and the transmission is still unknown.

[color=#333333]shingles itself can develop only from a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus in a person who has previously had chickenpox. in other words, shingles itself is never transmitted from one person to another either in the air or through direct exposure to the blisters.[color=#333333]it is not clear why the varicella-zoster virus reactivates in some people but not in others. in many cases, the immune system has become impaired or suppressed from certain conditions such as aids, other immunodeficiency diseases, or certain cancers or drugs that suppress the immune system. aging itself increases the risk for shingles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.