5 Things You Need To Know about Shingles Contagious Period

Shingles Contagious Period

If there is one condition whose spreadability causes quite a bit of confusion, it’s shingles. This condition is a frequent cause of panic in workplaces across the country. Once someone has it, it seems everyone starts wondering if they’re going to get it and how long the shingles contagious period is. But, there are a lot of misconceptions about shingles and how they are spread, but there are some important things that you should know whether you are contemplating the shingles vaccine or simply wondering how careful you need to be around someone who has been diagnosed. While you can do a lot of heavy reading on the subject, the most important facts about spreading the condition are pretty basic, and we’ve compiled a list of 5 things that you need to know about the shingles contagious period that will help you separate fact from myth and put your mind at ease!

1. One of the first things you are likely wondering is whether or not you can even get this condition. If you have had chickenpox previously, your virus can get reactivated when immune system guard goes down. Regardless of what stage during the shingles contagious period someone you know might be at, you can’t get shingles from an infected person in most cases. But, don’t rest easy just yet. That virus is in your system, leftover from your case of chickenpox, and you can very well experience shingles causes later in life such as stress, a weakened immune system, or disease that can reactivate the dormant virus that’s been chilling inside your body.

2. While the shingles symptoms can start days or weeks before an infected person knows what’s going on, the only time that spreading to other people can occur is when blisters are either forming or healing. Once they have all dried up and become crusty and devoid of fluid and no new ones are appearing the shingles contagious period has ended.

3. If started within 72 hours of the first signs of the rash, antivirals can reduce the duration of the illness. This can lead to a shorter period of time that the infection can be spread and therefore reduce the shingles contagious period if promptly treated.

4. The virus also exists in saliva, but it’s unknown if it’s transmissible via kissing. However, it’s a good idea to take proper precautions to avoid giving everyone a very long lasting and painful gift. Avoid swapping spit with those you love to be on the safe side, and cover any blisters that you have if you have to be around people who are at risk of contracting the virus.

5. Breathing and coughing do not spread the virus; contact with the fluid from the blisters is the means of transmission. While keeping a safe distance from at risk people is advisable, shingles isn’t fleas, and the blisters won’t hop from one person to the next. Take the same precautions you would to prevent any other illness by eliminating physical contact and practice good hygiene like frequent hand washing to help prevent spread during the shingles contagious period.

Because of the duration, pain and severity of a shingles infection, many people are scared of contracting the virus. In the case of shingles and pregnancy for instance, prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential, although outcomes are normally positive. The good news is that the shingles contagious period is actually rather short, although the condition may last weeks to even months. And, luckily, the risk of shingles recurrence is very low. With proper precautions and common sense strategies to minimize risk and exposure, you can help reduce the chance of you transmitting this virus.