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Chickenpox (varicella) is caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV). It is often a mild illness, but may be severe in infants, pregnant women, adults, and persons with weakened immune systems. An itchy rash starts on the trunk and face with pink spots and tiny fluid-filled blisters ("pox") that then dry and become scabs in 4 to 5 days.

Shingles, also called herpes zoster or zoster, is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV). After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body for life. Usually the virus does not cause any problems; however, it can reappear years later, causing shingles.

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