Shingles is not spread through sneezing, coughing or casual contact. A person is not contagious before blisters appear. The virus that causes chickenpox and shingles can be spread by direct contact with the blisters. To prevent the spread of VZV, people with shingles should cover their rash, not touch or scratch the rash, and wash their hands often. Once the shingles rash develops crusts, the skin lesions are no longer contagious.
When a person with shingles infects another person with the virus, that virus will cause chickenpox, not shingles. Chickenpox will only occur in people who have not had chickenpox before, nor been immunized against it.
BC does not have a publicly-funded shingles vaccine program; however, the vaccine can be purchased at most pharmacies and travel clinics.