If someone is exposed to someone with shingles can that person become a carrier of the Shingles virus?
My father has recently been exposed to someone that has been diagnosed with having Shingles. Since I have had Shingles once already I would like to know if I should stay away from him if he is a carrier of the virus. If he is a carrier how long should I stay away from him?
Shingles itself is not contagious. What I mean is you cannot get shingles from someone else who has shingles. Shingles is contagious from the standpoint that you can get chickenpox from direct exposure to shingles blisters. In other words, if a person has never had chickenpox and has not been vaccinated against chickenpox, that person can get chickenpox if they come in contact with shingles blisters.
However, if you have had chickenpox (or shingles), you cannot get shingles from coming in contact with someone who is having an active outbreak of shingles. A shingles outbreak is triggered from within your own body. It is not caused by contact with someone else.
So, to answer your question, you do not need to avoid contact with your dad. You also should be aware that you can get the shingles vaccination if you're over age 50, even if you've had an outbreak of shingles in the past.
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