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Syn: chickenpox. Highly contagious virus disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus, human herpes virus 3. It is primarily a disease of children and is usually innocuous but can be serious in persons with compromised immune systems. The varicella-zoster virus apparently may remain dormant when the infection has resolved, but may reactivate in later life after re-exposure to infection, such as contact with a case of chickenpox, when it can cause herpes zoster.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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