Shingles isn’t transmitted through airborne particles, but it is spread through direct contact with fluid from the infectious rash, according to MedicineNet. However, shingles only occurs in individuals who previously contracted chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine.
Exposure to the varicella zoster virus causes chickenpox, and after the condition clears up, the dormant virus remains in the body’s nerve cells, MedicineNet states. A reactivation of the virus triggers a shingles outbreak. Although the varicella zoster virus causes both shingles and chickenpox, only the latter is transmittable through infectious droplets in the air. When people who have never contracted the varicella zoster virus come in contact with shingles rashes, they are at risk of developing chickenpox.