varicella zoster virus

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varicella zoster virus (VZV)

Etymology: L, varius, diverse; Gk, zoster, girdle; L, virus, poison
a member of the herpesvirus family, which causes the diseases varicella (chickenpox) with primary infection and herpes zoster (shingles) of the virus reactivator. The virus has been isolated from vesicle fluid in chickenpox, is highly contagious, and may be spread by direct contact or droplets. Dried crusts of skin lesions do not contain active virus particles. Herpes zoster is produced by reactivation of latent varicella virus, usually several years after the initial infection. There is no simple test for measuring antibodies to this virus. However, zoster immune globulin (ZIG) obtained from convalescing zoster patients, if injected within 3 days of exposure, will prevent varicella in susceptible children. The temporary nature of this protection and the relative scarcity of ZIG warrant reservation of its use to children receiving immunosuppressive therapy or suffering from immune deficiency diseases. Herpes zoster should be treated promptly with acyclovir, desciclovir, valaciclovir, or penciclovir to speed healing. (Famciclovir is used for postherpetic neuralgia.) A licensed vaccine is available and highly effective. See also chickenpox, herpes zoster.
References in periodicals archive ?
And the chickenpox virus, called the varicella-zoster virus or VZV, never really leaves us.
The vaccine contains a weakened strain of the chickenpox virus that is strong enough to boost older adults' waning immunity against the chickenpox virus.
Shingles or zoster is a wide-spread skin disease that occurs from re-awakening of the chickenpox virus (namely, human herpesvirus-3 aka varicella zoster virus).
Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus, which lies dormant in a person after she or he is exposed to the virus, reactivating many years later in life resulting in shingles.
The chickenpox virus is transmitted in airborne droplets from coughs and sneezes of infected people, or by direct contact with the blisters.
Shingles is a painful contagious rash caused by the dormant chickenpox virus, which can reactivate and replicate, damaging the nerve system.
Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus attacking a nerve causing severe pain and a rash.
A CHICKENPOX virus hits South Park in the irreverent American animated sitcom.
Though the proper name sounds mysterious, varicella zoster virus (VZV) is well known as the chickenpox virus.
Prior to the introduction of VARIVAX in 1995, an estimated four million people(1) were infected with the chickenpox virus each year in the U.
Shingles is a painful contagious rash caused by the dormant chickenpox virus which can reactivate and replicate, damaging the nerve system.
It's hare-brained because the chickenpox virus is airborne and it doesn't travel.