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A 25-year-old male asked:

Is herpes zoster contagious airborne?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 54 years experience
Zoster no, c'pox yes: People with their first infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV) (mostly kids w/ chickenpox) are infectious by respiratory secretions -- e.g. coughing on someone who previously never had chickenpox and wasn't vaccinated against VZV. However, herpes zoster (shingles) dosn't have virus in the respiratory tract and is rarely transmissible except by direct contact with the skin rash.

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Last updated Feb 19, 2019

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