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The diagnosis of shingles is primarily clinical, based upon the characteristic pain and band of rash and blisters (vesicles). Laboratory testing for varicella zoster virus (VZV) may sometimes be performed to confirm or rule out VZV when a person has atypical symptoms and/or complications that may be due to another cause. It may also be performed for organ transplant recipients or pregnant women to help diagnose a current infection and to determine whether the person has been previously exposed to VZV – to help evaluate their immune status. Read more about VZV tests.

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