Other Herpes Viruses

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Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) A close cousin of the herpes simplex virus, the varicella-zoster virus is responsible for two other skin blistering disorders—first chicken pox, and later shingles (or "herpes zoster"), an acute inflammatory infection that produces painful blisters on the skin over the sites of nerves. Although shingles is most common in adults over age 50, it can occur in children who have already had chicken pox. Like the herpes simplex virus, the varicella-zoster virus can affect the eyes or the brain in addition to the skin.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) This herpes virus is associated with acute infectious mononucleosis and chronic fatigue syndrome. Mononucleosis, also known as the "kissing disease," is spread by saliva and nasal secretions. Initial symptoms last up to 10 days and include fatigue, lethargy, and slight fever. The acute phase of the illness lasts up to another 10 days and is marked by sore throat, high fever, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, enlarged spleen and, oftentimes, a faint, pink rash over the body. The fatigue and lethargy can last longer than other symptoms.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) This herpes virus causes many diseases in humans, particularly in infants. Symptoms of a cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection include swollen glands, fever, and fatigue and may take the form of hepatitis, mild mononucleosis or, in newborns, jaundice and low birth weight. In severe cases of infected infants, CMV may cause brain damage, deafness, blindness, and death.

Herpes virus 6 This virus causes roseola infan-tum (a fever and pale pink body rash), most common in children between ages six months and three years. Most cases trigger a fever but no rash. In older children the virus can cause mononucleosis-like symptoms. The virus and its effects on humans are still being studied.

Herpes viruses 7 and 8 These viruses and their effects on humans are still being studied.

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