Are Shingles Contagious And Do They Pose A Threat To Your Health

Shingles can be contagious and can be spread to anyone including babies, children, or adults who’ve not had the chickenpox. These individuals will not develop shingles, but will develop the chicken pox instead. Once someone has had the chickenpox, they cannot catch shingles (or the virus) from a person suffering from them. Once you’ve had the chicken pox, you have the potential to advance into shingles later on in life. Shingles is a blistery skin rash caused by nerve and skin inflammation and is in the herpes family of viruses called varicella zoster virus (VZV). After someone has the chickenpox, this virus lives dormant within the nervous system and can be woken up by various causes.

Under certain situations, such as stress, weakness in your immune system (such as from AIDS or chemotherapy), or cancer, the virus will wake up and causes shingles. In almost all cases, however, the cause for waking up the virus is never found. Anyone who has ever had the chickenpox can be at risk for the progression of shingles, although it’s most common occurrence is among people over the age of 60. The estimated occurrence of shingles is up to 1,000,000 cases each year in the U.S. Some of the signs of shingles are flu like symptoms such as head ache, fever and nausea.

Fever may be one of the first signs of contracting shingles. Your fever may continue for a number of days before any other signs, such as a rash or blister may appear. Other initial signs of shingles are feeling tired or getting chills. Then it begins. At first you may want to itch or you might see a small blister like a bug bite appear.

When someone first comes down with shingles they think they may have been bitten by a spider or bug. Then they will begin seeing small painful blisters on one section of their body’s. There also could be a band that develops that begins at the spine going all the way to the extremities. Once you see these symptoms it’s recommended that you consult your doctor immediately before it gets any worse.

If you don’t go to the doctor immediately you could develop what’s known as chronic neuralgia. This is an extremely painful illness. It occurs when shingles have come to the final stages. There will still be incredible pain even if you don’t see a rash. If you want to prevent this from happening then it would be a good idea to go and see the doctor whenever you start getting symptoms. If you find that you are still in pain even after you have been treated you may be developing what’s known as post herpetic neuralgia. The pain experienced has been described as beyond bearable.

It’s not thought of as being a fully contagious disease. It can only be caught when the sufferer is at a particular phase. This is usually when a person has started getting blisters and they are raw and may be oozing; however, once the blisters start to dry up and the only thing left is scabs, then it is no longer considered to be contagious. Who is it contagious to? Not everyone. Studies have found that only those who have not had the chicken pox as a child are at risk and should not be exposed to the person with shingles.

People with healthy immune systems will find that it is hard to contract shingles. An unhealthy immune system is thought to be the key to getting shingles. Immune systems are put in jeopardy by a person taking certain medications or someone with a disease that attacks it like AIDS. Extreme stress, illness and medication attack the immune system and weaken it making the likely hood of contracting shingles greater. Seniors, or individuals who are over 60, seem to be the most susceptible to shingles because their immune systems may have been weaker because of other illnesses. Most seniors are taking some kind of medication and may be under a lot of stress. I am not saying that younger individuals will not contract shingles. On the contrary, shingles have just as good of chance of being woken up in individuals of all ages because of environmental, economic and unhealthy eating habits. Stress and a weakened immune system can happen to anyone at any time. And if you’ve had the chicken pox and put under these conditions, you may get shingles. Health plays a vital role in determining whether someone contracts this disease or not.

With thousands of individuals contracting shingles each month most people around them want to know, are shingles contagious? The short answer is yes but with under certain conditions. It depends on the sufferer’s stage of the illness and if the person around them has had the chicken pox before. As stated above, healthy people who are relatively stress free and who have already had the chicken pox, will find it almost impossible to contract shingles from someone infected. One final note, please visit your doctor if they are experiencing any symptoms.

About the author: Phil Adler can help with tips about the shingle virus and are shingles contagious. Receive more information about shingles and shingles pain relief from his website.

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