Shingles, if not treated right away, can lead to permanent bodily damage. It is contagious in its third stage when blisters erupt. Anyone who has had the childhood disease chickenpox is vulnerable to contracting shingles.
Is shingles contagious? I am 9 months pregnant and one of my family members has shingles, should I avoid them? I also have had chicken pox
You would probably recognize shingles by its commonly known other name, Chicken pox! Chicken pox is a virus in the herpes family (herpes zoster) and is of course, highly contagious! Typically an outbreak lasts about 3 to 5 weeks! Once you get it, you typically have the virus in your system for life but your immune system keeps it supressed! However, over time, if you do not come into contact with someone with chicken pox, your resistance to the virus lessens and the virus in your system may reactivate causing shingles! Additionally, people under stress or with compromised immune systems can also have the virus reactivate! Wikipedia has an excellent webpage about shingles aka chicken pox aka herpes zoster! http://en!wikipedia!org/wiki/ShinglesEDIT: To clarify a point of confusion, shingles is not contagious in the way that it will cause other people to get the shingles! It is highly contagious in the way that if a person has not been vaccinated or has never had the chicken pox, that person will contract the virus and come down with the chicken pox! The blisters cease being contagious when they are dried out!
For all practical purposes shingles is not contagious. Theoretically, a person who has never had chickenpox or been vacinated against it could get it if s/he had
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