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Ria Falvo, BSc, DABT

Test Your Knowledge of Shingles

Varicella zoster virus (VZV), the virus that causes chickenpox (varicella) in children, is the same culprit that sprouts shingles (herpes zoster) later on, with incidence increasing with age. During its primary viremic phase in childhood, varicella zoster virus causes chickenpox, then lingers dormant in the dorsal root ganglia following its recovery. Shingles erupts following reactivation of the latent virus. Persons born before 1980 very likely had chickenpox even if they don’t recall or possibly experienced a mild case, because the vaccine was not yet available (it was licensed for use in the United States in March 1995 and Canada in December 1998).