Contagious herpes zoster or it is not dangerous to humans?

Заразен ли опоясывающий лишай или он не опасен для человека?Dear readers, our topic will touch on the important question — shingles. The disease is viral, so many question about its infectivity.

I will talk about what is this disease, and contagious shingles to others?

The causes of the disease

The causative virus from the herpes family, it is easily destroyed by high temperatures under the action of disinfectants and UV rays.

But at low temperatures persists for a long time and is able to withstand prolonged freezing.

Herpes zoster is closely related to the virus that causes chicken pox. It affects the skin and nervous system of those who once moved the chicken pox, can also be a primary infection.

After entering the organism, the pathogen (virus zoster varicella) through the blood or lymph in the elements of the nervous system. It may be ganglia, nerve roots, where he is a long time in a latent state.

Заразен ли опоясывающий лишай или он не опасен для человека?

Latent infection is activated in conditions when the body’s immune response is lowered:

  • Chronic severe disease;
  • Immune deficiency (e.g. HIV);
  • In cancer patients;
  • After a course of chemotherapy;
  • If a person is taking antidepressants;
  • During intoxication (both endogenous and exogenous).
  • The virus for a long time is in an inactive state, so the incubation period experts estimate even in a few years.


    Заразен ли опоясывающий лишай или он не опасен для человека?The clinical course of the disease has three stages: prodromal, symptoms and residual effects.

    First, there are General symptoms: fever, chills, malaise. Locally observed burning or tingling, then there are primary elements (rash).

    Rash in shingles has such features:

  • Appear along the nerve trunks;
  • Most affected skin of the back, abdomen, lateral surfaces of body and on the face (in the course of the trigeminal nerve);
  • First spots appear. They are limited in diameter to 5 cm, color pink;
  • On the second day of their background, there are small bubbles, they contain serous fluid. Diameter of no more than 2-3 mm.;
  • The number of such foci may be different, they are closely adjacent to each other, sometimes located line;
  • Over time, the bubbles grow turbid, and after 8-10 days in their place are formed crust, which disappear with the formation of hypopigmentary spots.
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    All items with herpes zoster appear at the same time, so are at the same stage of development.

    But it should be remembered that the rash may appear within 1-2 weeks in the form of separate islets.

    Заразен ли опоясывающий лишай или он не опасен для человека?Sometimes you can see the hemorrhagic form of the herpes infection. During the hemorrhagic content bubbles, and the inflammation affects the deeper layers of the dermis.

    Later on the skin of the patient appear brown, and sometimes the bottom bubbles undergoes necrosis, then on the body after the disease, you can see scarring.

    Despite the fact that symptoms disappear after 3-4 weeks, the neurological symptoms can persist for a long time, up to one year.

    How to distinguish shingles from chickenpox? It is very simple. The fact that lesions in this type of lichen is asymmetrical, that is, occur on the same side and never move on to another.

    The rash has a clear sequence, also chickenpox does not happen (when uncomplicated) neurologic symptoms.

    Neurological disorders

    Заразен ли опоясывающий лишай или он не опасен для человека?These symptoms are the first place among complications of the disease. Neurological disorders for 1-2 days before appearance of rashes.

    These include: neuropathy, neuralgia, pain, a burning sensation, and radicular pain.

    Sometimes shingles leak is atypical, that is, the patient is absent eruptive period, immediately have radicular pain.

    Pain worse at night and under the influence of such stimuli as cold, pressure, movement and touch.

    It is necessary to observe a violation of the motor function: about 5% of patients have paresis of upper and lower extremities that may indicate the myelitis.

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    One of the adverse disorders is blurred vision. It may be the defeat of the cornea (scleritis), zoster infection of the iris, episcleritis and iridocyclitis.

    The consequences can be different: atrophy of the optic nerve, the defeat of the oculomotor nerve (as a result, you can see the drooping of the eyelid — ptosis), glaucoma, or conversely reduction of intraocular pressure.

    Rashes on the skin of the eyelids are much heavier than in other parts of the body. This is due to its special structure. On the affected side was observed the loss of eyelashes and eyebrows.

    Of the severe forms of the infection can be called meningoencephalitides. The mortality rate is up to 60%. From the time the rash appears on the skin before the development of encephalopathy, on average it takes from 2 days to 3 weeks.


    Заразен ли опоясывающий лишай или он не опасен для человека?The incidence is higher in the cold season, but single cases are not epidemic. However, we should not forget that patients are contagious.

    Repeatedly reported cases of child morbidity and varicella who had contact with patients with shingles. This refers to the previously-stricken children.

    Possible recurrence of herpes zoster in the same patient, but this occurs rarely.

    Experts who have studied the herpes virus detects that it is widely distributed throughout the body.

    So, the patient shingles, the pathogen can be isolated from saliva, content of bubbles and tears. This explains how the virus is transmitted and why patients are contagious.

    Thus, we can conclude that herpes zoster refers to contagious diseases.

    Special caution should be exercised for persons with reduced immunity, cancer patients, and children without a history of chickenpox.

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    And in conclusion, I recommend you watch the video with comprehensive information about this disease: