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Is herpes zoster contagious airborne?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
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