- Herpes zoster
- Also called shingles, zona, and zoster. The culprit is the varicella-zoster virus. Primary infection with this virus causes chickenpox (varicella). At this time the virus infects nerves (namely, the dorsal root ganglia) where it remains latent (lies low) for years. It can then be reactivated to cause shingles with blisters over the distribution of the affected nerve accompanied by often intense pain and itching.
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* * *an acute, infectious, usually self-limited disease believed to represent activation of latent human herpesvirus 3 in those who have become partially immune after an attack of chickenpox. It involves the sensory ganglia and their areas of innervation, and is characterized by severe neuralgic pain along the distribution of the affected nerve with crops of clustered vesicles over the area of the corresponding dermatome; it is usually unilateral and confined to one dermatome or adjacent ones. Postherpetic neuralgia may be a complication. In immunocompromised patients it may disseminate and be fatal. Called also acute posterior ganglionitis, shingles, zona, and zoster.
Herpes zoster, with diffuse involvement of a dermatome.
Medical dictionary. 2011.