Yes, shingles is contagious. If you have shingles, you can spread the virus to other people through contact with the open sores—even if the rash hasn’t broken out yet. You’re most likely to spread the virus when blisters are oozing or wet. The virus can also be spread through coughing and sneezing. It’s rare to spread the virus before the blisters appear, but it’s possible. A person with shingles can pass the varicella-zoster virus to anyone who isn’t immune to chickenpox.