Wednesday, April 10, 2024

When Is Shingles Contagious To Others

What Other Problems Can Shingles Cause

Is shingles contagious?

Shingles can cause complications:

  • Postherpetic neuralgia is most common complication of shingles. It causes severe pain in the areas where you had the shingles rash. It usually gets better in a few weeks or months. But some people can have pain from PHN for many years, and it can interfere with daily life.
  • Vision loss can happen if shingles affects your eye. It may be temporary or permanent.
  • Hearing or balance problems are possible if you have shingles within or near your ear. You may also have weakness of the muscles on that side of your face. These problems can be temporary or permanent.

Very rarely, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, brain inflammation , or death.

Im Pregnant And Have Had A Blood Test For Chickenpox What Do The Results Of This Test Show

The blood test can show that you:

  • Are immune and have no sign of recent infection. You have nothing further to be concerned about.
  • Are not immune and have not yet been infected. You should avoid anyone with chickenpox during your pregnancy.
  • Have or recently had an infection. You should discuss what the risks are for your stage of pregnancy with your healthcare provider.

Are Shingles Contagious Yes Or No

If you had chickenpox when you were a child, you are at risk for shingles. Shingles occurs when the varicella-zoster virus that caused your chickenpox re-emerges after lying dormant in your nerve cells from the time of your original illness. When this occurs, you are contagious, but you can’t give someone shingles.

You May Like: Bad Reaction To Shingles Shot

How Long Does A Shingles Outbreak Last

It can take three to five weeks from the time you begin to feel symptoms until the rash totally disappears.

  • First, a few days before the rash appears, you may feel pain in an area on your skin. The pain is described as itching, burning, stabbing or shooting. This usually happens before the rash comes.
  • Next, the raised rash appears as a band or a patch, usually on one side of your body. The rash usually appears around your waistline or on one side of your face, neck, or on the trunk , but not always. It can occur in other areas including your arms and legs.
  • Within three to four days, the rash develops into red, fluid-filled, painful, open blisters.
  • Usually, these blisters begin to dry out and crust over within about 10 days.
  • The scabs clear up about two to three weeks later.
  • Is There A Vaccine For Shingles

    How is Shingles Transmitted, How long is it Contagious &  How Long Does ...

    There are two shingles vaccines currently available, Shingrix and Zostavax. Shingrix vaccine, a newer vaccine, is preferred over Zostavax for the prevention of shingles and its complications. Two doses of Shingrix given 2 to 6 months apart are recommended for healthy adults 50 years of age and older. Shingrix is also recommended for adults who have previously received Zostavax. A single dose of Zostavax may still be used to prevent shingles in certain cases for healthy adults 60 years and older.

    You May Like: Can You Get Shingles On Your Back

    Is The Zostavax Vaccine Still Being Used

    Yes. The CDC, however, recommends Zostavax for adults age 60 and older, but not routinely for people aged 50 to 59. Zostavax is given as a single-dose shot versus the two-dose shot for Shingrix. Zostavax is less effective than Shingrix in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia .

    You can consider Zostavax if you are allergic to Shingrix or if Shingrix is unavailable because of supply shortage and you want some immediate protection from a possible case of shingles and/or postherpetic neuralgia. Because its a weakened live vaccine, it may be dangerous if you have cancer, HIV, or take steroids, chemotherapy or other medications that suppress your immune system. Ask your healthcare provider if the Zostavax vaccine is an option for you.

    Can You Get Shingles From The Covid

    There have been a few reports of shingles happening in people who were vaccinated against COVID-19. The varicella-zoster virus was reactivated in these people.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    If youve had chickenpox, youre at risk of developing shingles later in life. Shingles causes a rash that is contagious and painful. The disease can have serious complications. The best thing you can do to reduce your risk is to get the shingles vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective.

    Recommended Reading: Does Kroger Give Shingles Vaccine

    Can You Still Develop Shingles If Youve Been Vaccinated For Chickenpox

    Yes. Despite being vaccinated for chickenpox, you can still get shingles. No vaccine is 100% protective, and the effectiveness of vaccines lessens with time. However, people who get the chickenpox vaccine are significantly less likely to develop shingles later in life compared with people who never received the chickenpox vaccine. One recent 12-year study found that the number of shingles cases was 72% lower in children who had received the chickenpox vaccine compared with those who didnt.

    Recommended Reading: Can I Get A Shingles Shot At Cvs

    How Is Shingles Spread

    Is Shingles Contagious?

    A person must have already had chickenpox in the past to develop shingles. A person cannot get shingles from a person that has shingles. However, the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles can be spread from a person with active shingles to a person who has never had chickenpox or had the chickenpox vaccine. The person exposed to the virus would develop chickenpox, not shingles. A person with shingles can spread the virus when the rash is in the blister-phase. The blister fluid is filled with virus particles. The virus is spread through direct contact with the rash or through breathing in virus particles that get mixed in the air. Once the rash has developed crusts, the person is no longer contagious. A person is not infectious before blisters appear or if pain persists after the rash is gone .

    Don’t Miss: What To Eat With Shingles

    What Are The Complications Of Shingles

    After the shingles rash has disappeared, you might continue to have nerve pain in that same area. Postherpetic neuralgia can last for months or years and become quite severe.

    More than 10% of people who get shingles develop postherpetic neuralgia. Researchers dont know why some people get postherpetic neuralgia and others dont. It may be that nerves become more sensitive or that the virus may be invading and damaging the central nervous system.

    Other complications include:

    • Other types of nerve issues like numbness or itching.
    • A bacterial infection of the shingles rash.
    • Eye and ear inflammation if the rash is near these organs.

    So Is Shingles Contagious

    Many people think that shingles is contagious, however, if you have had chickenpox you cannot catch shingles from someone else who has shingles. If you have never had chickenpox or have not received the chickenpox vaccine you can catch chickenpox from someone with shingles. Covering the rash with clothing or some sort of dressing, and maintaining strict personal hygiene will decrease the risk of spreading infection to others. If you have shingles you are contagious until the lesions are all scabbed over, which is usually 10-14 days.

    If you have shingles you should avoid contact with anyone who hasnt had chickenpox, especially pregnant women, people with a weak immune system and very young babies as they are at risk of catching chickenpox.

    Read Also: How Many Shingle Shots Do You Get

    Do You Always Get The Typical Rash If You Have Shingles

    Occasionally some patients dont get the rash. If you have any of the other symptoms of shingles , see your healthcare provider sooner rather than later. There are effective treatments that can be given early in the disease. If it turns out you dont have shingles, seeing your healthcare provider allows any condition that you do have to be discovered and treated early in its course.

    The shingles rash appears on the abdomen and face, neck and shoulders.

    Read Also: Can I Get Shingles Vaccine At Cvs

    Will Shingles Go Away On Its Own

    Shingles  Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Contagious, Pictures ...

    Shingles isn’t life-threatening, but it can be incredibly painful and, in some cases, complications can arise. While this rash typically goes away its own, prompt treatment can reduce your pain and help shingles go away faster.

    “Several antivirals can be used to treat shingles. These drugs can help you heal more quickly and reduce your pain, but they are most effective when started within 72 hours of your rash appearing. This means it’s important to see your doctor as soon as you suspect shingles,” says Dr. Brown. “When it comes to the pain associated with shingles, most people are able to manage it using over-the-counter pain relievers. But, pain can be severe for some people. In these cases, your doctor can prescribe stronger pain medications.”

    Beyond treating your immediate pain and rash, seeing your doctor is also important since serious complications can occur as a result of shingles, such as:

    • Postherpetic neuralgia pain that lasts for months to years after the rash clears, with this pain being debilitating in some cases
    • Skin infection occurs if the open sores of your rash become infected with bacteria, which can require antibiotics and delay healing
    • Vision problems while rare, if your rash develops near your eye, the associated inflammation can damage your retina and, in some cases, result in vision loss

    You May Like: How Do People Get Shingles

    What Are The Risks Associated With Shingles

    Some people experience pain around the rash site for a month or morepain that is severe enough to interfere with daily activities.

    Scratching the rash can also cause a secondary infection if harmful bacteria get into the sores.

    Shingles on the face can involve the eyes, which is serious because it can cause scarring and blindness.

    The occurrence and severity of shingles and its complications increase with age.

    How Long Does Shingles Last

    From the time you begin to feel symptoms until the rash has totally disappeared can take three to five weeks.

  • First, a few days before the rash appears, you may feel pain in an area on your skin. The pain is described as itching, burning, stabbing, or shooting.
  • Next, the raised rash appears as a band or a patch, usually on one side of the body. The rash usually appears around the waistline or on one side of the face, neck, or on the trunk , but can occur in other areas including the arms and legs.
  • Within three to four days, the rash develops into red, fluid-filled, round, painful, open blisters.
  • Usually, these blisters begin to dry out and crust over within about 10 days.
  • The scabs clear up about two to three weeks later.
  • You May Like: Does Goodrx Cover Shingles Vaccine

    Shingles And Chickenpox Vaccination

    The National Immunisation Program provides a free shingles vaccine, Zostavax® at 70 years of age . There is also a free catch-up program for 71 to 79 year olds until the end of 2021. The Zostavax® vaccine is available on prescription for people aged 50 to 69 years and from 80 years but it must be paid for by the patient.

    Zostavax® vaccine contains live attenuated varicella-zoster virus, containing 14 times more virus than childhood varicella vaccines and is contraindicated in immunocompromised people. Zostavax® vaccine should not to be used in people with compromised immune function due to the risk of disseminated disease from the vaccine virus.

    • Safety advisoryâ Zostavax® vaccine for health professionals and consumers

    Vaccination is still recommended for people who have had shingles infection in the past. It is recommended to wait at least a year after recovery.

    The NIP provides a free chickenpox vaccine to children aged 18 months of age and as catch-up for children up to 20 years of age as part of the No Jab No Pay legislation. People aged 14 years and older require two doses of the chickenpox vaccine, one to two months apart. People from 20 years of age must purchase the vaccine privately.

    You May Like: What Are Some Signs Of Shingles

    Other Forms Of Shingles

    Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

    Shingles do not only develop on the skin. Ophthalmic shingles occurs when the virus affects the trigeminal nerve that controls the muscles, sensation, and movement of the face. This form of the infection requires immediate treatment. It can present as conjunctivitis or pink eye, which is highly contagious. Other symptoms of this eye infection include throbbing pain in the eye, blurry vision, and redness around and in the eye.

    TimMcClean / Getty Images

    Also Check: How Much Is A Sq Of Shingles

    Recommended Reading: Does The Shingles Vaccine Work

    Can You Get Shingles If You Havent Had Chickenpox

    No. You cant get shingles if youve never had chickenpox, but you can get chickenpox from someone who has shingles. If youve never had chickenpox and you come into direct contact with the oozing, blister-like rash of someone with shingles, the varicella-zoster virus can infect you and you would develop chickenpox.

    Once youve had chickenpox, you could develop shingles at some point in your life. This is because the varicella-zoster virus never fully goes away after youve had chickenpox. It lies quietly inactive in your nerve tissue. Later in life, the virus may become active again and appears as shingles.

    Can you get chickenpox more than once?

    Its rare to get chickenpox twice in your life. Once youve had chickenpox, youre usually immune to it for the rest of your life. However, its not totally impossible. If you have a severely weakened immune system , you can get chickenpox a second time. If youve had chickenpox, you are more likely to get shingles at some point in your life than a repeat bout of chickenpox.

    How Do You Get Shingles

    You don’t catch shingles from other peopleinstead it’s caused by the reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. You can only develop shingles if you had chickenpox when you were younger. You can’t get shingles if you’ve never had chickenpox.

    After you recover from chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus can enter your nervous system and lie dormant there for years. Someday, it might reactivate and cause shingles to appear. Doctors arent exactly sure why this happens, but it tends to happen to older people and/or those with weakened immune systems .

    You can’t catch shingles from someone else, but if you have it, you can transmit the virus to others, giving them chickenpox.

    You May Like: What Is Shingles And Is It Contagious

    How Can You Prevent Shingles

    Vaccination is the only way to reduce the chance of getting shingles since the virus that causes shingles is already present in anyone who has had chickenpox.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of recombinant zoster vaccine to prevent shingles and related complications in adults 50 years and older. Shingrix is also recommended for adults 19 years and older who have weakened immune systems because of disease or treatments they are receiving. The varicella vaccine protects against chickenpox.

    How You Catch The Varicella

    How to Know if You Have Shingles Blisters

    Shingles is not contagious. You cant catch shingles from someone. However, a person with shingles can pass along VZV to people who have never contracted chickenpox.

    VZV can be transmitted from a person with shingles to someone who has never had chickenpox via direct contact with fluid from shingles rash or blisters. Its not possible to pass along VZV before shingles blisters appear or after lesions crust over.

    However, shingles is a lot less contagious than chickenpox. By covering up your rash, you can prevent the spread of the virus.

    Shingles usually happens many years after an initial chickenpox infection. The first signs of a reactivation of the virus are malaise, fever, a localized tingling or burning sensation, and pain. Within a few days a one-sided rash forms on the face or body. It can takes up to 10 days for the rash and blisters to crust over. It will clear up entirely several weeks later.

    You May Like: What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Shingles

    I’m Pregnant And Have Recently Been Exposed To Someone With Chickenpox How Will This Exposure Affect Me Or My Pregnancy

    • Susceptible pregnant women are at risk for associated complications when they contract varicella. Varicella infection causes severe illness in pregnant women, and 10%-20% of those infected develop varicella pneumonia, with mortality reported as high as 40%.
    • Because of these risks, pregnant women without evidence of immunity to varicella who have been exposed to the virus may be given varicella-zoster immune globulin to reduce their risk of disease complications.
    • If you are pregnant and have never had chickenpox, and you get chickenpox during the:
      • First half of your pregnancy, there is a very slight risk for birth defects or miscarriage.
      • Second half of your pregnancy, the baby may have infection without having any symptoms and then get shingles later in life.
    • Newborns whose mothers develop varicella rash from 5 days before to 2 days after delivery are at risk for neonatal varicella, associated with mortality as high as 30%. These infants should receive preventive treatment with varicella-zoster immune globulin .

    What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles

    Shingles usually starts as a rash on one side of the face or body. The rash starts as blisters that scab after seven to ten days. The rash usually clears within two to four weeks.

    Before the rash develops, there is often pain, itching, or tingling in the area where the rash will develop. Other symptoms of shingles can include fever, headache, chills, and upset stomach.

    Also Check: Are Shingles Shots Covered Under Medicare

    Who Is At Risk For Shingles

    You! About 98 percent of adults have had chickenpox and are at risk for shingles. In the United States, at least 1 million people get shingles each year. Shingles is far more common in people age 50 and older than in younger people. About half of shingles cases occur in people age 60 or older. It is more common in people who have a weakened immune system because of a disease, such as cancer or human immunodeficiency virus , or from drugs, like steroids or chemotherapy. Anyone can get shingles, though, including children.

    Popular Articles
    Related news