Herpes zoster is also called shingles. VZV is also called herpesvirus 3, and is a member of the Herpesvirales order of double-stranded DNA viruses. What causes herpes zoster? Herpes zoster occasionally causes blisters inside the mouth or ears, and can also affect the genital area. Reactivation of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) that has remained dormant within dorsal root ganglia, often for decades after the patient s initial exposure to the virus in the form of varicella (chickenpox), results in herpes zoster (shingles). Pain may simulate headache, iritis, pleurisy, brachial neuritis, cardiac pain, appendicitis or other intra-abdominal disease, or sciatica. Shingles (herpes zoster) is infection that results from reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, the virus that causes chickenpox. What causes the virus to.