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Is varicella-zoster contagious

This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals. To the best of their knowledge the information is current and based on reputable sources of medical evidence, however Bupa (Asia) Limited makes no representation or warranty as to the completeness or accuracy of the Content.

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Source :

Bupa Medical Consultant

When infected with varicella-zoster virus, blisters will be found on the skin. Since these blisters, elongated in nature, resembles the body of the snake, hence it is commonly known to the public as "snake" in Hong Kong. 

There are several rumours surrounding its infection. Some mistakenly believe that death is doomed when "snake-like" blisters were found surrounding the body, although this is not the case. And despite its snake-like appearance, it has nothing to do with snakes.

Quite a lot of people had contracted chickenpox during infantry. When recovered, varicella zoster virus that cause chickenpox will rest within the spinal nerve roots for the rest of your life. If such virus is triggered, they will be reactivated and transmitted along the nerves to bring about varicella zoster on the skin. Thus, one will be free from this disease unless he or she has once been infected with chickenpox.

If you have never been infected with varicella zoster but come into contact with patient’s blisters, what you will contract is chickenpox rather than varicella zoster. Chances of infection caused by daily contact are very low.

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