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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 53 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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A member asked:

Is it true that the cold and flu are most contagious before the onset of symptoms?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Katz
Pediatrics 26 years experience
No: Since colds and the flu are generally spread through respiratory droplets (i.e. Coughing and sneezing), people are most contagious when they appear sick.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Is the illness contagious? How are these viruses spread?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Willam Lau
Infectious Disease 10 years experience
When symptomatic: Virus is shed and transmitted in the respiratory secretions of the symptomatic patient (sneezing, fever, chilling, coughing).
A 21-year-old member asked:

Does stress bring on shingles?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Janet Greenhut
Preventive Medicine 43 years experience
It can: Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. You can only get shingles if you have had chickenpox. The chickenpox virus stays dormant (asleep) in the nervous system and can be reactivated by a weakened immune system, causing shingles. Serious stress can weaken the immune system and bring on a case of shingles. There is a vaccine for preventing shingles for people over 50.
A 44-year-old member asked:

How to cope with oral herpes when dating?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Beck
Dentistry 11 years experience
Communication, treat: Oral herpes is pretty common and almost all adults have been exposed to it in some form. Sometimes it is not symptomatic at all. Other times cold sores or more aggressive sores inside the mouth can occur. If you are having symptoms, please see the dentist for treatment. You don't want your date to see sores all over your mouth. Talk to your partner about the fact you have it, and that it is common.
A 34-year-old member asked:

Is there any way to get herpes without having sex?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Swor
Obstetrics and Gynecology 40 years experience
Any contact: The herpes virus passes to breaks in skin or mucus membranes from contact. The contact is usually an active lesion or sore on another person, but can be from an object. The virus can also be spread from one area of your body to another, so we all should learn hand washing and antiseptic techniques.

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Last updated Feb 19, 2019

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