IN THIS ARTICLE
Is Shingles Contagious?
Shingles is not contagious (able to spread) in the sense that people who are exposed to a patient with shingles with not "catch shingles." Anyone who has already had chickenpox or has received the chickenpox vaccine, and is otherwise healthy, should be protected and at no risk when around a patient with shingles. However, people who have never had chickenpox and have not received the chickenpox vaccine are susceptible to infection by a patient with shingles. These susceptible people, if exposed to the shingles virus, will not develop shingles, but they could develop chicken pox. Such susceptible individuals include babies, young children, and unvaccinated individuals, so people with shingles are actually contagious for VZV infections in the form of chickenpox. Consequently, these individuals may get shingles at a later time in life, as can anyone who has had chickenpox. Covering the rash that occurs with shingles with a dressing or clothing helps decrease the risk of spreading the infection to others. Pregnant women are not unusually susceptible to shingles but if shingles develops near the end of pregnancy, the fetus may be harmed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/16/2015
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Must Read Articles Related to Shingles
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Shingles:
Shingles - Symptoms and Signs
What were the symptoms and signs of your shingles?
Shingles - Effective Treatments
What kinds of treatments have been effective for your shingles?
Shingles - Diagnosis
How was your case of shingles diagnosed?