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High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is one of eight herpes viruses known to infect humans (and other vertebrates). It commonly causes chicken-pox in children and both shingles and postherpetic neuralgia in adults. Varicella-zoster virus is known by many names, including: chickenpox virus, varicella virus, zoster virus, and human herpes virus type 3 (HHV-3). Primary VZV infection results in chickenpox (varicella), which may rarely result in complications including encephalitis or 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.