How Contagious

Can I Catch Shingles From My Spouse?

spouse shingles

You may be wondering, can I catch shingles from my spouse. Well, Herpes Zoster is a medical condition that cannot be spread from one person to another. The varicella-zoster virus is responsible for both chickenpox and shingles. The varicella-zoster virus is contagious. If you are suffering from herpes zoster, you can easily spread the condition to another person, and they may end up developing chickenpox.

The varicella-zoster virus usually stays in the nerve tissues. The virus will be inactive for a considerable amount of time. If the immune system is unable to contain the virus, it could be activated at some point.

How Herpes Zoster Spreads

A person suffering from herpes zoster can quickly spread the virus to another person who has never suffered from chickenpox before. For a person who has suffered from chickenpox before, their bodies will have antibodies that can prevent the virus from being activated again.

Herpes Zoster usually brings about oozing and open blisters. The varicella-zoster virus usually spreads when people come into contact with the herpes zoster blisters. If you have not had chickenpox before, you will suffer from the condition after coming into contact with the oozing blisters from a person suffering from Herpes Zoster.

When crusty scabs from around the blisters, the virus will not spread. Also, the virus cannot spread when the blisters are well covered.

People cannot also get herpes zoster by coming into contact with the nasal secretions of a person suffering from the condition. It means when a person with herpes zoster coughs on you, you will not contract the virus.

Looking into Who Can Get Herpes Zoster

shingles transmissionIf you have suffered from chickenpox before, you are at risk of developing herpes zoster. However, you cannot suffer from chickenpox twice in your life. Earlier, we mentioned that the varicella-zoster virus lasts for a lifetime in the human body. It can be reactivated at some point, depending on the strength of your immune system. The condition is common among the elderly who may be above 60 years old.

The Herpes Zoster condition is common. A considerable population globally will experience the symptoms of the disease before they reach 80 years. The virus has a tendency to be reactivated when the immune system is weak. When you are sick, it is normal to suffer from Herpes Zoster. Looking into the Symptoms of Herpes Zoster, some early symptoms include fever, headache, and chills. The major symptoms include pain and blisters.


shingles scabs

The symptoms of Herpes Zoster may appear to be similar to chickenpox. Each disease features blisters that usually ooze pus after they’re open. There is also a crust all over the blisters. Unlike chickenpox, Herpes Zoster will only affect one part of the body. The blisters will be prevalent on the torso or around the waist. If you are experiencing the symptoms of Herpes Zoster, seek medical attention with immediate effect. The doctor may recommend a good shingles cream.


Herpes Zoster usually travels along a specific nerve path. As a result, you will experience pain. The skin may tingle before the blisters begin to appear. The sensitivity to touch and itching is also a symptom of Herpes Zoster. The pain that results from Herpes Zoster will vary in terms of severity. It may be hard to treat the pain using painkillers. A doctor may prescribe steroids or antidepressants; these drugs can help relieve the nerve pain caused by Herpes Zoster.

What to do when you are suffering from Herpes Zoster

People suffering from Herpes Zoster may experience varying levels of discomfort and pain for a certain period. They may recover from the condition after using a shingles cream.

breaking out shinglesThe Herpes Zoster outbreaks are temporary. They may appear and end in a month. The main issue is that the condition may have a long-term effect on your well-being and health.

The nerve pain caused by Herpes Zoster may persist. It may last for weeks or months. The Herpes Zoster pain will last longer, and it is persistent in adults. Young people may fail to diagnose the symptoms of the condition. They will realize they are suffering from Herpes Zoster after the blisters begin to appear.

Some medical advancements such as the vaccine for Herpes Zoster have been produced in recent years. This means fewer people will suffer from chickenpox and Herpes Zoster in the future.

How to Avoid the Spread of Herpes Zoster

People suffering from Herpes Zoster are less likely to spread the varicella-zoster virus than those suffering from chickenpox. If you are suffering from Herpes Zoster, you can continue working as usual. However, you should adhere to the following tips to curb the spread of the virus:

  • The rashes should be cleaned and covered, as this ensures that people cannot come into contact with the blisters easily.
  • Avoid getting into contact with pregnant women- a pregnant woman’s health can be adversely affected by the varicella-zoster virus. A pregnant woman will be at the risk of suffering from congenital disabilities or pneumonia. If you are suffering from Herpes Zoster and you have come into contact with a pregnant woman, notify them immediately and advise them to seek the services of a medical practitioner immediately. Always avoid coming into contact with pregnant women who have not suffered from chickenpox before.
  • Ensure your hands are clean all the time through regular cleaning. Also, avoid touching the blisters.
  • Avoid coming into contact with at-risk people- avoid coming into contact with infants that have low birth weight and premature babies, especially if they have not been vaccinated yet. Also, avoid individuals with weak immunity. Such individuals include people who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV, among others.

Final Thoughts

In this article, the main focus was on, can I catch Herpes Zoster from my spouse? Well, if you have not suffered from chickenpox before, you are at the risk of getting Herpes Zoster from your spouse. Also, as you grow older, your immune system weakens. You may catch Herpes Zoster from your spouse when you are 60 years old and above.