9 doctors weighed in:

A family member has a skin condition called shingles. How contagious is it & what precautions should the rest of the family take?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lonna Larsh
Family Medicine
5 doctors agree

In brief: Chicken pox virus

Shingles is a reactivation of chicken pox.
After recovery from chicken pox, the virus stays dormant in a nerve root. It can then be reactivated as shingles at a later date. If someone has never had chicken pox, they can get them from someone who has shingles and should avoid them. If you have had chicken pox (or the vaccine), you are safe and there is no need to take any precautions.

In brief: Chicken pox virus

Shingles is a reactivation of chicken pox.
After recovery from chicken pox, the virus stays dormant in a nerve root. It can then be reactivated as shingles at a later date. If someone has never had chicken pox, they can get them from someone who has shingles and should avoid them. If you have had chicken pox (or the vaccine), you are safe and there is no need to take any precautions.
Dr. Lonna Larsh
Dr. Lonna Larsh
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Dr. Thomas Byrnes
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Yes and no

Caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox and from contact with the open rash/sores, a non immune person (who hasn't already had chicken pox or the vaccine) could get a chicken pox infection.
Avoid contact with the rash and frequently wash hands. Getting the vaccine is also recommended.

In brief: Yes and no

Caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox and from contact with the open rash/sores, a non immune person (who hasn't already had chicken pox or the vaccine) could get a chicken pox infection.
Avoid contact with the rash and frequently wash hands. Getting the vaccine is also recommended.
Dr. Thomas Byrnes
Dr. Thomas Byrnes
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Dr. Morris Westfried
Dermatology
2 doctors agree

In brief: No need for concern

Shingles is a localized4 limited recurrence of the chicken pox virus.
It can be spread by direct contact to someone who has not had or been vaccinyed for chicken pox. If the area is covered and the family member washes their hands it is very unlikely to spread to anyone else in the family.

In brief: No need for concern

Shingles is a localized4 limited recurrence of the chicken pox virus.
It can be spread by direct contact to someone who has not had or been vaccinyed for chicken pox. If the area is covered and the family member washes their hands it is very unlikely to spread to anyone else in the family.
Dr. Morris Westfried
Dr. Morris Westfried
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