Is Shingles Contagious?
In short, yes. Here's what to do to avoid infecting someone (or getting infected yourself).
Alexea Gaffney-Adams, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, New York, gives expert advice on avoiding a shingles outbreak.
Shingles is contagious to individuals who have never been diagnosed or infected with chickenpox, as well as individuals who have never been vaccinated against chickenpox. The way the shingles is most often spread is if someone who is susceptible to that viral infection comes into close contact with the actual skin lesions or those vesicles or blisters that we talked about earlier. If you've not been vaccinated for chickenpox and you've never been formally diagnosed with chickenpox, you should stay away from individuals who currently have a shingles outbreak.
Individuals who do have a shingles outbreak need to keep the affected area covered when they're in the presence of other people because you never know what someone's immune status is or what their susceptibility is. Important groups to maintain distance from when you are experiencing a shingles outbreak, includes pregnant women who have not had a chickenpox infection or who have not had a chickenpox vaccine. Not only is the woman susceptible, but her unborn child is also susceptible to complications of this infection.