My grandma has shingles. Is it contagious? 

Patient

Q: My grandma has shingles. I have never had shingles or chicken pox. I am going to her house tomorrow but I want to make sure she is not contagious. she stated to have them 3 days ago but took medicine only today. I have only had the first booster for chicken pox . I can't get the second one due to health related stuff.

Symptoms:  Rash on the lower part of back
Doctor

A:   Thank you for contacting ask the doctor. Shingles is caused by the reactivation of varicella Zoster Virus. It is less contagious as compared to the chicken pox. I recommend washing your hands properly after visiting a patient suffering from shingles. Do not touch the rash/ scratch the rash. Ask the patient to keep the rash covered. It would be interesting to note that shingles cannot be transmitted , but just the virus can be. This virus would result in Chicken pox in an individual who has never been infected with the virus. An active shingles rash is contagious only in the blister phase. Before the blister phase and after the development of the crust the patient is no longer contagious. Hope this information was useful.

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