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Is shingles contagious?

Page last updated 03 April 2020

Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another. However, the virus that causes it (varicella zoster virus), can be spread from a person with active shingles to cause chickenpox in someone who has not had chickenpox (or been exposed to the virus) before. Shingles is not as contagious as chickenpox, and the risk of spreading the virus is low, so long as the rash is covered up completely.

Sources & Citations

5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shingles (herpes zoster) transmission. Available at: (Accessed 19 March 2020).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0180(1)a - Date of preparation March 2020