What causes Herpes zoster?

Herpes zoster is caused by the reactivation of the dormant Varicella Zoster Virus (VSV). VSV is the cause of chickenpox, and therefore commonly picked up during childhood, and remains in the body even after the symptoms of chickenpox disappear. There is no known reason why the virus reactivates, though it is more common in the elderly or those with a compromised immune system. Herpes zoster causes a painful vesicular rash on one side of the body, commonly known as shingles. Herpes zoster can be persistent and difficult to treat, requiring hospitalisation in extreme cases.

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