Intended for healthcare professionals

Varicella zoster virus – part 1: general aspects and varicella

Varicella zoster virus causes varicella (chickenpox) and herpes zoster (shingles). Varicella is predominantly a childhood illness manifesting with a febrile illness and vesicular eruption. It is usually self-limiting but occasionally can lead to secondary bacterial infections, pneumonia or central nervous system involvement. Herpes zoster is caused by activation of dormant varicella zoster virus in the dorsal root ganglion. It classically presents with dermatomal paraethesia and vesicular rash. This two-part article will discuss general aspects and varicella in part 1, and herpes zoster in part 2.
Dermatology in practice 2007; 15(3): 12–14
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