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CDC National VZV Laboratory

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) laboratory testing information applies to testing and diagnosis of primary VZV infection (varicella) as well as reactivation or latent infection (herpes zoster). The National VZV Laboratory can provide several types of VZV-specific testing free-of-charge to state and local public health departments who require confirmatory evidence for VZV infection or confirmation of atypical herpes zoster cases, and to physicians and scientists participating in various epidemiologic and laboratory-based studies.

Specimens may be submitted for suspected vaccine-related adverse events, including herpes zoster in a vaccinee, rash with more than 50 lesions 7-42 days after vaccination, any serious adverse event (pneumonia, ataxia, encephalitis) occurring after vaccination, and suspected secondary transmission.

See Collecting Specimens for Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) Testing.

For information on shingles (herpes zoster), see Shingles.

Contact Information

For more information on varicella zoster virus specimen collection, storage, and handling, please contact:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National VZV Laboratory
1600 Clifton Road, NE
Mailstop G-18 (Building 18, Room 6-134—for FedEx shipments)
Atlanta, GA 30333
Phone: (404) 639-3667
Fax: 404-639-4056


Also see: Laboratory services provided through the CDC National VZV Laboratory [4 pages]

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