Can shingles last for weeks and how long is shingles contagious? Shingles is caused by the Varicella zoster virus (VZV), a strain of the virus that causes chickenpox. The shingles virus can be in the body for up to two weeks before symptoms become evident. The virus can remain dormant in the body for up to six months before becoming active.
Can shingles transmit by contact? The virus can be transmitted by sharing towels, bedding, clothing, and other personal items with an infected person. The varicella-zoster Virus, or VZV, that is shed by the shingling blisters is also highly contagious to individuals who have never experienced chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccination who then come into contact with the open wounds. This includes individuals who do not have adequate immune systems to fight the infection. Thus, these individuals must seek medical attention as soon as possible to avoid the spreading of the virus to others.
How long is shingles contagious if there are only one side or few blisters? If the disease is transmitted through the skin, then the incubation period is three to four days. Once the incubation period expires, the individual would have developed the shingles rash on only one side of the body. This does not necessarily mean that the disease could be contracted on the other side of the body as well.
How long is shingles contagious if there are multiple symptoms? The disease is usually categorized into two groups: meningitis and meningoencephalopathy. Meningitis is the term used to indicate a milder form of the disease. On the other hand, meningoencephalopathy is considered a more serious condition characterized by seizures and death. Both symptoms are manifested when the virus destroys the nerves that control facial movements. Thus, the symptoms commonly seen include extreme pain on one side of the face or in the head, problems with speaking or swallowing, vomiting, fever, and swollen glands.
How long is shingles contagious if symptoms appear shortly after the exposure to the varicella-zoster virus? Symptoms usually appear six to 21 days after exposure. If the virus spreads to the eyes, symptoms may also appear there. However, this disease is not transmittable. Thus, once symptoms appear, they cannot be transferred to other individuals.
How long is shingles contagious if the medication used to treat the virus does not eliminate the infection? To answer this question, it is important to know how medications used in treating shingles affect the virus. If treatment with an antiviral medication delays the onset of the symptoms, the duration of the period of infection is extended. Therefore, if another shingles episode occurs soon after ending the previous medication, your physician will most probably prescribe another medication for treating the virus.
How long is shingles contagious if the virus may run its course even with a strong immune system? When an individual has a strong immune system, the symptoms of the virus may be lessened or absent altogether. However, even individuals with weak immune systems still experience the disease. This is because the weakened immune system makes it easier for the virus to survive once the person’s body rejects it. Such immunity hindrances are generally present in HIV patients who exhibit low titer antibodies (titer level blood test) that respond to the drugs used to treat the virus.
How long is shingles contagious if my primary care provider diagnosed the condition? Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict how long a virus may stay in one place before symptoms appear. Since the symptoms appear suddenly and often without any prior warning, it is very hard to judge their presence. A doctor may suspect the occurrence of shingles by looking at the patient’s history. If you have a positive history of shingles in the family, you should inform your primary care provider immediately so tests can be done to confirm the diagnosis.