Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)

Also known as: chickenpox virus or zoster virus

This virus is airborne (coughing and sneezing). Like other viruses, it also can be spread by  physical interactions.

Chickenpox (or chicken pox) is a highly contagious disease caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV)[1] It usually starts with vesicular skin rash mainly on the body and head rather than at the periphery and becomes itchy, raw pockmarks, which mostly heal without scarring.


VZV structure Cambridge University Press

Targeted Soecies: Humans and vertebrates (ex: gorillas)

Major concerns if infected:

Primary VZV infection results in chickenpox (varicella), which may rarely result in complications including encephalitis or pneumonia (either direct viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia). Even when clinical symptoms of chickenpox have resolved, VZV remains dormant in the nervous system of the infected person (virus latency), in the trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia.[1] In about 10–20% of cases, VZV reactivates later in life producing a disease known as shingles or herpes zoster. VZV is more likely to reactivate in patients with severely compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients. Serious complications of shingles include postherpetic neuralgia, zoster multiplex, myelitis, herpes ophthalmicus, or zoster sine herpete. Ramsay Hunt syndrome; VZV rarely affects the geniculate ganglion giving lesions that follow specific branches of the facial nerve. Symptoms may include painful blisters on the tongue and ear along with one sided facial weakness and hearing loss.

Eyesight problems:

1. Severe pain

2. Swelling

3. Chicken pox and shingles


Antiviral everdrops, pills, steriod evedrops

Acyclovir deals with the chicken pox

Shingles would be encountered with amciclovir and valaciclovir . VZV immune globulin is also an anotheroption.

This virus is not invovled in any epidememics however it had a 90% infection rate