Are Shingles Contagious to Infants?

Are Shingles Contagious to Infants?

Shingles is characterized by a skin rash caused due to virus. Read on to find out whether this disease is contagious in children or not.
Shingles is one of the most common disease found in children. Also known as Herpes zoster, it is caused due to varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. People suffering from chickenpox may develop shingles in the later age when the virus becomes active again. Skin rash occurring due to shingles looks similar to chickenpox.
What Causes Shingles
As mentioned above, the virus causing chickenpox also causes shingles. Even after the person gets completely cured from chickenpox, the virus stays in the person's body and can reactivate in the future due to unknown reasons. However, it is believed that stress or autoimmune disorders like AIDS, etc., can cause the virus to reactivate. Secondly, having a weak immune system also makes a person highly susceptible to this disease, and hence, children and older people are at a higher risk of contracting shingles. Symptoms of this disease include red rash with burning and irritation, blisters, itching, headache, fatigue and chills, etc. In severe stages, the blisters crack open and spread which worsens the condition.
Is Shingles Contagious to Infants
Yes, shingles is contagious in case of children as well as adults. The virus causing shingles can be spread from one person to the other. However, there are several factors associated with its contagion. Firstly, it is contagious only to those individuals who have not had chickenpox in the past. When the virus is transmitted from one person to the other, the other person develops chickenpox, and not shingles. Those who have already had chickenpox are usually not at the risk of contracting the disease again.
Those having a weak immune system are at a higher risk of contracting shingles. The disease is contagious as long as rash and blisters are observed. Hence, it is advisable for people to stay away from people in case symptoms like open blisters and rash are observed.
What are the Treatment Methods
Shingles can be treated with medication. Skin creams and lotions can be used to treat the skin rash, itching, and irritation. People suffering from shingles are advised to take rest to cure the disease completely. It is also advised to stay indoors in order to prevent the disease from spreading.
In case you observe any symptoms, you should consult the doctor immediately. As a concluding note, remember that shingles is contagious, and hence, one should identify the symptoms to get it treated quickly and prevent it from spreading. Take care!
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, seek to replace the advice of an expert.