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 ?
The next time the person is exposed to the chickenpox virus, the antibodies recognize it.
The only way a person can be immune to chickenpox is by becoming infected with the chickenpox virus.
Arnel Florendo, the city health officer, said those found positive of chickenpox virus remained in a hospital but the others had been given the go-signal to return to the jamboree.
SPOTS Classic Nine in 10 Brits catch the chickenpox virus by the age of 15.
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 vaccine is a live, weakened form of the chickenpox virus administered as an injection in the upper arm.
Shingles is caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster also called herpes zoster), which can lie dormant in nerve roots for decades after a childhood infection.
Experts explain that the chickenpox virus (varicella zoster) can lay dormant in nerve cells for decades only to resurface as shingles (herpes zoster) in later years.
HERPES Zoster, more commonly known as shingles, is a nerve infection caused by the chickenpox virus.
A NEW four-in-one jab which combines the chickenpox virus with the contentious MMR vaccine could soon be available in the UK.
A new four-in-one jab which combines the chickenpox virus with the MMR vaccine could soon be available in the UK.