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Shingles rash caused by herpes zoster virus. Herpes zoster (or simply zoster), commonly known as shingles and also known as zona, is a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters in a limited area on one side of the body, often in a stripe. The initial infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV) causes the acute (short-lived) illness chickenpox which generally occurs in children and young people. Once an episode of chickenpox has resolved, the virus is not eliminated from the body but can go on to cause shingles, an illness with very different symptoms, often many years after the initial infection. Herpes zoster is not the same disease as herpes simplex despite the name similarity (both the varicella zoster virus and herpes simplex.
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