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Doctor insights on: Shingles

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Is shingles contagious?

Is shingles contagious?

Yes: Its a reactivation of the chicken pox virus. Until all the vesicles have crusted over, you can give it to anyone who hasn't had chicken pox or the vaccine. Avoid exposure to young kids, pegnant, elderly, frail, or folks with lowered immune systems. ...Read more

Shingles (Herpes Zoster) (Definition)

A painful blistering skin rash caused by the chickenpox virus (varicella zoster). Early treatment with antiviral medication (within 72 hours) lowers the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia, which is lingering skin pain after the rash disappears. ...Read more


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Shingles rash, treatment?

Shingles rash, treatment?

Valacyclovir: The treatment is with a high dose of an anti-herpes drug (usually valacyclovir) if given early enough during the course of the outbreak. ...Read more

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Can the shingles vaccination prevent shingles?

Yes: The shingles vaccine, zostavax, is available to adults in a particular age group. Zostavax helps prevent shingles, but is not completely protective. Some people can still get shingles even though they were vaccinated. Zostavax costs about $250 if not covered by insurance. ...Read more

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What causes shingles outbreaks?

What causes shingles outbreaks?

Stress: Stress or other conditions that lowers your immune system can prompt reactivation of vzv, the causative agent for chickenpox; this manifests as shingles. ...Read more

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Is herpes zoster contagious airborne?

Is herpes zoster contagious airborne?

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 were not vaccinated against VZV. However, herpes zoster (shingles) dosn't have virus in the respiratory tract -- rarely transmissible except by direct contact with the skin rash. ...Read more

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Does chickenpox vaccine protect from shingles?

Does chickenpox vaccine protect from shingles?

Maybe,maybe not: The vaccine developed to help suppress shingles has many times the amount of varicella material than the chickenpox vaccine. Simple varicella vaccine use may res-erect some of your waning varicella antibodies and put off shingles but it may just protect you better against wild chickenpox. ...Read more

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Can shingles reoccur?

Yes: A person can have shingles more than once. His primary care doctor can evaluate to see if there is a weakness in his immune system (or just bad luck, older age, or other bodily stressors) that allowed him to have the first case of shingles. The doctor can give some advice on whether or not the patient should get the shingles vaccine to help prevent a recurrence of shingles. ...Read more

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Are shingles contagous?

Are shingles contagous?

Shingles: Shingles (herpes zoster) results as a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus in patients previously afflicted with chickenpox. It is only contagious to individuals not previously vaccinated against chickenpox or who have an immune deficiency in whom it manifests as chickenpox and not shingles. It is preventable through vaccination. Ask your doctor how you can access the vaccine. Good luck! ...Read more

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Does zostrixhelp shingles pain?

Does zostrixhelp shingles pain?

Yes, but...: ...Be aware that zostrix (capsaicin) works by depleting the chemical in nerve endings that transmits pain. In order to deplete the chemical it has to release it, which means that they pain often gets worse for a day or so before it gets better. So don't worry if the pain worsens initially - keep applying the cream. ...Read more

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Might exposure to chicken pox cause a shingles outbreak?

Might exposure to chicken pox cause a shingles outbreak?

They are buddies: Varicella-zoster are the responsible parties in chicken pox and shingles. If you have ever had chicken pox or the vaccine there is the possibility of shingles in your lifetime. While chicken pox does not cause shingles it has a clear role in its development. Other precipitating factors will bring out a shingles outbreak such as a viral illness, fatigue, and stress. ...Read more

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Lifespan of varicella zoster virus?

Lifespan of varicella zoster virus?

Lifetime: As long as you live, the virus stays with you mostly in dormant stage and occasionally flares up. ...Read more

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I'm getting shingles outbreaks, can I get the shingles vaccine?

I'm getting shingles outbreaks, can I get the shingles vaccine?

Yes: But, it may not be covered by insurance. Many insurers cover it starting at age 60. I could help boost your immunity and is probably worth the expense (about $250). Not studied for younger or middle aged adults yet, since most shingles occurs in th elderly, so they are the group for which the vaccine was targeted. ...Read more

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How does the varicella zoster spread?

How does the varicella zoster spread?

Airborn/ contact: The varicella virus is passed by new active cases by droplet (cough or secretions) and by contact with debris from blisters. It is estimated that as few as 30 minutes in a room with a kid with chicken pox may spread it to susceptable persons. ...Read more

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Can children get chicken pox from shingles?

Can children get chicken pox from shingles?

Yes.: Shingles lesions contain active chicken pox virus, so a child can catch chicken pox if they have direct physical contact with the rash. It does not transmit through the air. If a child has had both recommended doses of chicken pox vaccine, generally given at age 1 and 4, they're likely to be immune. ...Read more

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Taking Valtrex for shingles outbreak is it contagious?

Taking Valtrex for shingles outbreak  is it contagious?

Yes: A person with shingle sheds the same virus that causes chickenpox. You cannot transmit shingle, but if the contact has not had chickenpox or vaccination for chickenpox the contact may get chickenpox. ...Read more

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Is atypical chicken pox contagious?

Is atypical chicken pox contagious?

Yes: Chickenpox is highly infectious. Spread throughout households is very common with infection of up to 90% of vulnerable individuals who come into contact. Most infection occurs in those under 5 years of age and immunity increases with age until adulthood. http://patient.info/doctor/chickenpox-pro ...Read more

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Could herpes zoster vaccine be given to an elderly with active herpes zoster?

Why ?????: Giving the vaccine to anyone with active shingles would be a waste of time, resources and effort. It would not treat the infection or benefit the recipient in any way. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
810 doctors shared insights

Herpes Zoster (Definition)

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus, the ...Read more