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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between Herpes Zoster And Varicella Zoster Virus

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What is the difference between herpes zoster and varicella zoster virus?

What is the difference between herpes zoster and varicella zoster virus?

Herpes zoster...: ...Is the return of the infection caused by the varicella zoster virus. The first time this infection occurs, it is called varicella. ...Read more

Dr. James Ferguson
751 Doctors shared insights

Chickenpox (Definition)

Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, chicken pox results in a blister rash that starts on the stomach, back, and face and spreads throughout the entire body. These small itchy blisters eventually scab over. Associated symptoms include itching, fatigue, malaise, and a fever. The most effective method to prevent spreading of the varicella virus is ...Read more


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Why is the varicella-zoster virus referred to as a herpes virus?

Why is the varicella-zoster virus referred to as a herpes virus?

See Below: It can be a bit confusing. The technical name for 'shingles' is herpes zoster. Herpes zoster is caused by a reactivation of the varicella zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. To further complicate matters, the virus is also called human herpes virus type 3. ...Read more

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Are the varicella zoster virus and shingles the same thing?

Are the varicella zoster virus and shingles the same thing?

Word games: One is the name of a virus, the other is one condition that virus can cause. ...Read more

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Does varicella zoster virus can cause abortion? And does acyclovir effects on fetus? And can a pregnant women transfer herpes to fetus?

Does varicella zoster virus can cause abortion? And does acyclovir effects on fetus? And can a pregnant women transfer herpes to fetus?

1. Doubtful;...: ...Never noted to be associated with more frequent miscarriages than baseline; 2. Category b: none noted in limited studies; 3. Yes, but this usually happens at delivery. ...Read more

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How long can the varicella-zoster virus last on surfaces?

How long can the varicella-zoster virus last on surfaces?

Shingles: We don't generally worry about shingles virus being spread by surfaces. As a rule you can give someone chicken pox if you have shingles so you should not have anyone with a poor immune system touch your shingles rash.
I think the virus probably could survive on a surface but since chicken pox itself is usually spread by breathing on someone doubt you could give chicken pox this way. ...Read more

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How does the varicella-zoster virus cause the symptoms of chickenpox?

How does the varicella-zoster virus cause the symptoms of chickenpox?

Chickenpox: Chickenpox is a viral disease caused by varicella zoster. After a chickenpox infection the virus lives on in nerves and of it reemerges later in life it only affects that part of the body innervated by that nerve, resulting in shingles. ...Read more

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What is the lifespan of varicella zoster virus outside the host cell?

About 24 hours: Vzv can survive outside the human body for up to 24 hours, but it may be less in inhospitable conditions. ...Read more

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Lifespan of varicella zoster virus?

Lifetime: As long as you live, the virus stays with you mostly in dormant stage and occasionally flares up. ...Read more

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What risk does the virus varicella-zoster virus (vzv) cause to fetuses?

What risk does the virus varicella-zoster virus (vzv) cause to fetuses?

Serious effects: Varicella-zoster virus can cause prematurity, encephalitis, pneumonia, intrauterine growth restriction, central nervous system abnormalities, limb abnormalities, blindness, and possibly death if birth occurs during active infection. This is one reason why the VZV vaccine is contraindicated during pregnancy since it is a live vaccine. ...Read more

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Is latent varicella-zoster virus more likely to reactivate if the person is re-exposed to the virus or does it only reactivate with stressing the body?

Is latent varicella-zoster virus more likely to reactivate if the person is re-exposed to the virus or does it only reactivate with stressing the body?

Hard to say: For most individuals re-exposure will only give an individual a chance to boost their immunity and thereby keep the inactivated virus in check. If their systems immunity has weakened enough to allow emergence, the stress of the exposure could let this happen. However, it is difficult if not impossible to link these by proper study. ...Read more

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My doctor wants me to get a CT scan with contrast to see if I have the varicella-zoster virus in spinal fluid;. Expensive. Is this only way to test?

No: Well! ct scan is really an indirect and non invasive way. The direct but invasive way (and also a lot inexpensive) would be to do LP and send for viral cultures. ...Read more

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Is it possible for a 13 year old teen to contract the herpes zoster virus with no history of the varicella virus?

Is it possible for a 13 year old teen to contract the herpes zoster virus with no history of the varicella virus?

Terminology issue?: Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) is the virus that causes chicken pox in acute infection. After being exposed to VZV, the virus can become dormant and later appear as shingles, or herpes zoster. For one to have shingles (herpes zoster), they must have been infected with VZV previously. The acute infection (chicken pox) can be very mild, maybe unnoticed, especially if the person was vaccinated. ...Read more

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How long does the herpes zoster virus survive outside the body? Ie. after the fluid breaks out from the blister?

How long does the herpes zoster virus survive outside the body? Ie. after the fluid breaks out from the blister?

Virus dies quickly: If things are 'dry', then the virus will die off. However if the blister pops & wet material comes out -then potentially a new person could become infected with the chickenpox virus. Chickenpox has to occur first, before zoster can occur. If that person who was exposed had the chickenpox vaccine, then u can breathe a sigh of relief because they should be protected. No transmission if DRY scabs. ...Read more

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How is herpes zoster virus transmitted? Is it safe to live in the same place as the person infected?

How is herpes zoster virus transmitted? Is it safe to live in the same place as the person infected?

You already have it!: The reason that you likely already have the herpes zoster virus is that it is the same thing as the chickenpox virus (varicella). When we get chicken pox the virus that causes it never really leaves our bodies. It stays in a part of the nerve near the spine. After many years, your immunity wanes and the virus may become active again, typically just along the distribution of one spinal nerve. ...Read more

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Has any work or research been done to eradicate herpes zoster virus that lies dormant in the nervous system?

Has any work or research been done to eradicate herpes zoster virus that lies dormant in the nervous system?

Herpes zoster: Basic science research on varicella zoster virus (VZV, the cause of chickenpox and shingles) and on other herpes viruses may someday give answers on this, but don't hold your breath: you should assume your infection will be lifelong. Happily, recurrent zoster/shingles is fairly uncommon, can be largely prevented by the VZV vaccine, and easily treated. It's an easy problem to live with. Good luck! ...Read more

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I have the herpes zoster virus. The outbreak always occurs under my left eye. Can the outbreak come out in another area of my body?

I have the herpes zoster virus. The outbreak always occurs under my left eye. Can the outbreak come out in another area of my body?

Yes: The virus is in your nerves and can break out in any nerve, but it typically affects the same nerve when it recurs. In your case, the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve is the nerve involved. You should get the herpes zoster vaccination, if you have not had it already. If you have had more than 2 outbreaks in 6 months, you should be on prophylactic Valtrex (valacyclovir) or famvir. ...Read more

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71 yr old female. Pain on outside portion of left ear. Had herpes zoster virus of left ear 15 yrs ago. No blisters. Symptoms began last night.?

71 yr old female. Pain on outside portion of left ear. Had herpes zoster virus of left ear 15 yrs ago. No blisters. Symptoms began last night.?

Possible herpes: If she did not have anything outside the ear look inside the ear canal you may find one or two, if you find them that is it. If you do NT search for other reasons. ...Read more

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If I had chikenpox as a child, why would anyone need to be tested for Varicella-Zoster Ab, IgG? The virus is already in your system. I tested positive

Just good practice: Maybe your doctor tested you because she suspected herpes zoster (shingles), which is a reactivation of VZV, the chickenpox virus. Antibody lab testing is more reliable than patient history in knowing for sure that someone is carrying VZV and that shingles is possible. Not that she didn't trust your history, but still more accurate. Ask the doctor directly if this doesn't seem to explain it. ...Read more

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My roomie has shingles under his armpit, how can I prevent to get herpes zoster from him? (I had varicella when I was a kid)

My roomie has shingles under his armpit, how can I prevent to get herpes zoster from him? (I had varicella when I was a kid)

You can't get it: A person might get chickenpox from exposure to debris from weeping sores of shingles. (If they never had chickenpox) You cannot catch shingles (Zoster) from a person with shingles. ...Read more

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How to explain what a varicella zoster (shingles) is to a parent or a patient?

How to explain what a varicella zoster (shingles) is to a parent or a patient?

When weak: When you are weak, the virus grows stronger. And comes out through your nerves, and that is why it hurts. Until there is a crust, you can infect others. ...Read more

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How could you explain what a varicella zoster (shingles) is to a parent or a patient?

Virus: Shingles is a herpes zoster virus that can occur in anyone who has had chicken pox (herpes simplex) There are currently injections which aid in the prevention of shingles. ...Read more

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What is the main cause of varicella zoster (shingles)?

Only varicella virus: Shingles is a condition where the zoster virus emerges from hibernation in one of your nerve roots. It travels down the nerve and exits in the distribution of that nerve where it causes pain, blisters and skin sensitivity. The only way you get shingles is to have had chickenpox in the past or have received the vaccine (although less often). ...Read more

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How would you explain what a varicella zoster (shingles) is in layman's terms?

Recurrent chickenpo: When first infected with chickenpox (varicella) the virus remains alive in your nervous system for the rest of your life and for unclear reasons can recur, often in localized area of your body (on one side only). This latter rash is called zoster and a person who has never had chickenpox can "get" chickenpox from this rash, . ...Read more

Herpes (Definition)

There are different types of herpes infections; herpes simplex infection of mouth (gingivostomatitis) and lips (labialis) are the most common. Others include genital herpes, and herpes zoster. Herpes infection could very mild to very dangerous depending on the type and location of the body affected. I ...Read more


Dr. DAVID AMOS
160 Doctors shared insights

Varicella Zoster Virus (Definition)

Varicella-Zoster Virus is a type of herpes virus that causes chicken pox in children and young adults. It causes Zoster, typically in the elderly, which is an outbreak of painful blisters localized in the area of skin innervated ...Read more