Is Shingles Contagious?

Q:

My boyfriend is diagnosed shingles. He’s having rashes and he’s in pain. I once heart somewhere that shingles is contagious, does it mean I’ll get it too? What can I do to prevent it?

A:

Yes. A person with shingles can pass the virus to anyone who isn’t immune to the virus. The virus is called the varicella-zoster virus, the same one that causes chickenpox. This usually occurs through direct contact with the open sores of the shingles rash. Once infected, the person will develop chickenpox, however, not shingles.

Chickenpox can be dangerous for some people. Until your shingles blisters scab over, you are contagious and should avoid physical contact with anyone who hasn’t yet had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, especially people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and newborns.

I wonder why your boyfriend didn’t mention this to you. If he has visited a doctor, the doctor should have told him about this.

The way of prevention is not to contact the open sores of the shingles rash.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.