When is shingles contagious?


Quick Answer

Shingles is contagious until the rash scabs over, according to Mayo Clinic. However, in order to get the virus, a person who has not developed immunity to chickenpox must have direct contact with the rash or blisters. The newly infected individual develops a case of chickenpox, not shingles.

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When is shingles contagious?
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Full Answer

Mayo Clinic explains that shingles and chickenpox are both caused by the varicella-zoster virus. When first infected with this virus, individuals develop chickenpox. After recovering from chickenpox, the virus doesn't leave the body. Instead, it lies dormant in tissues deep along the spine and can reactive and move along the nerves to the skin to cause shingles later in life.

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