Shingles: Symptoms, Complications, and Prevention


Shingles is not contagious, but someone can transmit the virus when the shingles rash is in the blister phase. Even though you cannot give someone else this content shingles, you can give them the virus that causes it. If you have shingles, you should take steps to prevent spreading the virus to at-risk people.

The virus can transmit at any time between the appearance of the blisters and when they dry up. Overall, about 1 in 3 people in the country will develop shingles at some point. It stays dormant in a dorsal root ganglion of the peripheral nervous system, sensory you can try these out nerve tissue close to the spinal cord. At some point, the VZV can reactivate and trigger the symptoms of shingles. To prevent transmitting the virus, keep shingles rashes covered. Cover the rash from when the blisters appear to when they crust and scab over.

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Some people also experience fatigue, headache and other side effects. Anyone who has ever had chickenpox can develop shingles. Most adults in the United States had chickenpox when they were children. That was before the availability of the routine childhood vaccination that now protects against chickenpox. After a few days, clusters of small, fluid-filled blisters appear, sometimes surrounded by reddish skin. After 7–10 days, the blisters start to dry up, and the symptoms usually disappear after 2–4 weeks.

Antibacterial drugs may be prescribed if you develop a bacterial infection due to the shingles rash. Anti-inflammatory drugs like prednisone may be prescribed if shingles affects your eyes or other parts of your face. If you have shingles, you’re contagious until the rash is dried and crusted over.

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If your rash is in the blister phase, stay away from those who haven’t had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine and keep your rash covered. Receiving the varicella vaccination during childhood is the best way to reduce the risk of developing chickenpox and shingles. Shingles itself does not transfer from person to person. However, the underlying virus, which causes chickenpox first, can transmit through shingles blisters. Anyone who has never had chickenpox or its vaccination may develop chickenpox, and later shingles, after coming into contact with this fluid. But the virus can be passed on to another person through contact with the rash when blisters are present.

It is not possible to treat or prevent shingles with antibiotics — these are only effective for bacterial infections, and shingles is viral. If a person comes into contact with this, they may develop chickenpox learn more here if they have never had it or the varicella vaccine, also known as the chickenpox vaccine. However, the virus that causes chickenpox, which can lead to shingles later in life, can pass from person to person.


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If you think you have the symptoms of shingles, see your healthcare provider right away. Starting antiviral medications early can ease your discomfort and end symptoms earlier. Because it’s 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.

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