Are Shingles Contagious? Surprising Facts Revealed

Early Symptoms Shingles

Many people ask are shingles contagious? The answer is really 50/50, a person who has shingles can pass chicken pox on to those who have never had it.  Shingles does not pass on shingles.

As with chicken pox the shingles spots are contagious when they are still moist, so if they are blister like it is advised to avoid contact with other people.  If the spots are dry and scabby your shingles are no longer contagious and this means that you can go back to a more social way of life.

Most children suffer from chicken pox at an early age so by the time they reach adulthood they are already immune. This type of virus can only be passed through direct physical contact with the moist blisters.  This is good news for most people as if they cover up the moist blisters they are still able to work, do the shopping, and pick up children from school.

Always Take Precautionary Measures

Any woman who has not already had chicken pox should avoid people with either chicken pox or shingles, especially if you are pregnant.  As should people who have a low immune tolerance.  If you have or know someone with shingles you can take precautionary measures, such as;

  • Do not share any kind of wash cloth or towel,
  • Avoid swimming especially in a public pool,
  • Avoid sports where physical contact is necessary, including sexual contact.

As I stated above it is virtually impossible to catch shingles from someone else, so that basically answers your question about are shingles contagious. Shingles is usually caused through the reaction of a previous virus, such as chicken pox.

If you have a child particularly a baby, avoiding them if you have shingles or chicken pox is not possible, as you are the primary care giver.  However if the child is in fact yours they may well be protected from catching the virus due to sharing your antibodies whilst you were pregnant.

Some of the Early Symptoms of Shingles

  • Temperature of 38C or higher,
  • Pains in the muscles,
  • Possible pins and needles sensation  in the areas affected,
  • Feeling generally unwell.

shingles stagesThese symptoms may occur up to 5 days prior to getting any kind of spots or blisters.  A breakout of shingles lasts up to 10 – 30 days.  Some people have found shingles to affect their eyes and face.  If you think you may be suffering from shingles you should seek medical advice from your doctor or other health professional.  Always ring the doctor’s office first to make sure it is alright for you to attend the office.

The most common area for the shingles blisters to occur is the stomach area although all of the upper torso can be affected.

So are shingles contagious? Yes but only if you have never had chicken pox and even then someone with shingles does not pass on shingles.  If you require more information on shingles your doctor will be happy to help.  Alternatively you may find more information via your search engine or local library.