Smallpox, Shingles, and a new Outbreak.

Andrew Wagner afwagner at STUDENTS.WISC.EDU
Sun Mar 9 15:58:22 EST 1997

>There is one interesting question that I have wondered about.  In the
>ailment known as 'shingles' a pox, usually chicken pox, will remain
>dormant in the nerves of persons for many years after they have gotten
>the initial infection of the pox, and then re-emerge from those nerve
>cells at a much later date, producing very painful boils.  I was
>wondering whether smallpox can also form 'shingles'.  Can someone catch
>chicken pox from someone else's 'shingles'.  More importantly, is there
>a possibility of the re-emergence of smallpox from 'shingles' derived
>from initial smallpox infections from years ago?

Shingles/Chicken pox is Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV), a member of the
herpesvirus family.  It is NOT smallpox.  Smallpox is a member of the
poxvirus family.

Andy Wagner

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