Varicella Zoster Virus Infection

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection, acquired through the respiratory route, causes varicella in children and zoster in adults. Varicella (chickenpox) is a benign exan-

thematous disease of young children; the clinical course may be more serious in adults. Rarely, varicella is complicated by cerebellitis, postinfectious encephalomyeli-tis, and the encephalopathy of Reye's disease.

Varicella-zoster virus persists in the neurons of the spinal ganglia, less often in the ganglia of the trigeminal or the facial cranial nerves. Reactivated viruses may afflict the peripheral and the CNS, the skin and the blood vessels, in both immunocompetent and immuno-suppressed individuals.

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