A very contagious virus named the Varicella zoster virus that causes chicken pox is the reason behind the development of Shingles. When a person suffers from Shingles, he or she can spread the virus, through the fluid filled, oozing blisters that develop around the left or right side of the torso.
Once the person suffers from chicken pox, the Varicella zoster virus stays in the blood forever, but in an inactive form. However, if you have a weak immunity or immune system, the virus may be reactivated. It affects the nervous tissue and thus, one gets the fluid filled blisters in the area that has the affected nerves.
Can You Catch Shingles from Someone?
There is a misconception regarding Shingles. Shingles is not contagious. This means that you cannot get the condition from someone who is already suffering from Shingles. However, the virus is contagious. It spreads easily from one person to another.
In Shingles, a person develops fluid filled oozing blisters. When the blisters dry up, there is the dried scab that takes a few days to clear up. Many people think that these dried scabs are the reasons behind the spread of the condition or virus. However, this is untrue.
The Varicella zoster virus spreads only through the oozing blisters. If the blisters are well covered, the virus cannot affect you. Saliva transmission, nasal secretions etc. cannot transfer the virus from the affected person to another. Only when you come to contact with the blisters and the blisters burst that the fluid can spread the virus.
Here, it must also be mentioned that Shingles virus stays with you throughout your life. Hence, whenever you suffer from Shingles more than once, it would mean that the existing virus inside your body has been reactivated and is in an active mode, due to a weak immune system. You cannot get the Varicella zoster virus from someone else, once you already have the virus in you, or you have already suffered from chicken pox or Shingles earlier in your life.