Is Shingles Contagious?

Most people of a certain age can recall having had a bout of chickenpox as a kid. The illness, which is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, can spread like wildfire through elementary schools and causes an itchy rash and flu-like symptoms.

Most kids who contract chickenpox don’t have serious complications and go on to feel better in a week or two. In fact, in the past, before a vaccine against chickenpox had been developed, so-called chickenpox parties would purposefully put a bunch of well children into close contact with an infected child so that the well children could get the illness and put that milestone of childhood behind them.

However, some kids who contract chickenpox can have more serious illness and may develop lasting scars from the itchy lesions. Today, such parties are no longer recommended. Instead, a safe and effective vaccine is now available beginning at 12 months of age…..


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