Is the Shingles Virus Contagious?


Quick Answer

eMedicineHealth notes that shingles cannot be transmitted to others, but it can cause chicken pox in susceptible individuals. Individuals with shingles are contagious until the blisters all crust over.

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Is the Shingles Virus Contagious?
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Full Answer

WebMD explains that chicken pox and shingles are caused by the same virus. After recovering from chicken pox, the virus becomes dormant in the tissues near the spine. Later in life, some individuals experience a reactivation of the virus that manifests as shingles. Shingles symptoms are pain, a rash and blisters. Shingles usually only affects a small section of the body, such as one side of the lower back. Shingles may take up to two weeks to resolve.

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