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What is the Route of Transmission of Shingles

I know that Shingles is another form of Chickenpox- it is caused by the same microorganism. But, what is the route of transmission? is it direct contact or is it respiratory like Chicken pox?


Asked by MamaHardy2008 at 7:54 PM on Apr. 7, 2010 in Health

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Answers (3)
  • A person must have already had chickenpox in the past to develop shingles. A person can not get shingles from a person that has it. 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 been vaccinated through direct contact with the rash. The person exposed would develop chickenpox, not shingles. The virus is not spread through sneezing, coughing or casual contact. A person with shingles can spread the disease when the rash is in the blister-phase. 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 (post-herpetic neuralgia).

    Answer by neebug3766 at 7:59 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • It only occurs in people who have had chicken pox. It is an immune system response to latent herpes zoster virus.

    Answer by ecodani at 7:58 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • Shingles occurs when the chickenpox virus "re-activates" itself. If you've had chickenpox, the virus stays in nerve cells in your spinal cord for the rest of your life. Usually, the virus lies dormant and doesn't cause any problems. But if your immune system becomes weakened, the virus can become active again and cause shingles.

    The virus can be passed on by direct contact with open shingles blisters until they dry up. Exposure can cause chickenpox in people who haven't had chickenpox or the vaccine. People with shingles need to avoid contact with babies, pregnant women and people who have a weakened immune system.

    Shingles isn't triggered by contact with someone who has chickenpox.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 8:01 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

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