Is shingles contagious?

Shingles is much less contagious than chicken pox, and often occurs in conjunction with stress or a weakened immune system.

When shingles (herpes zoster) is a viral disease that makes itself mainly by a belt-like, painful rash with blisters noticeable. The disease often occurs in the elderly or in people with weakened immune systems. Often the virus is transmitted in childhood, as part of a chicken pox infection. Although the chickenpox rash is gone, the virus stays for life in the human body. It embeds itself in the cranial nerves and the nerve roots of the spinal cord and multiplies aged again if, for example, the immune system is weakened. From shingles all body regions and organs can be affected. In the course of the disease is first feels repulsed. There may be a slight fever and burning, itchy skin. A few days later occur in these regions to redness and blisters that burst and crust over a few days later. The complete resolution of symptoms of shingles can last up to a month and leave scars or pigmentation.

Shingles: How contagious is the disease?

Like any viral disease can be contagious even shingles. However, this disease is not an infection in the true sense, but the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus. This means that Shingles occurs only in people who have had chickenpox before. However, the shingles itself is contagious, it results in people who were not in contact with the virus, but first to chickenpox. Transmission of the disease is carried out only via the direct contact with the contained liquid in the bubble (smear). With crusting of the last bubble contagion of shingles disappear. To prevent an infection, so the scratching of the bubbles should be avoided because the highly infectious secretions so reaches the fingers and is distributed from there. In addition, people who have not been infected with the varicella zoster virus can be vaccinated against it. This VZV vaccination is default by the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) recommended for children and adolescents and is particularly useful for high-risk patients such as pregnant women or women who want children.

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