- Journal of Gerontological Nursing
- March 2010 - Volume 36 · Issue 3: 10-14
Herpes zoster (HZ) is a common condition among older adults, manifested by pain and the classic presentation of a unilateral rash that follows a dermatomal distribution and does not cross the midline of the body. It is caused by reactivation of the virus that caused chickenpox during an earlier infection. In many cases, acute HZ is followed by a severe and disabling complication known as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), characterized by pain that persists for months or even years after the HZ rash heals. Using an individual example, this article provides information on the clinical manifestations, evidence-based treatment recommendations for, and prevention of HZ and PHN through use of the zoster vaccine Zostavax®, licensed in the United States in 2006.
Dr. Cadogan is Professor, Adjunct Series, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Nursing, Los Angeles, California.
The author discloses that she has no significant financial interests in any product or class of products discussed directly or indirectly in this activity, including research support.
Address correspondence to Mary P. Cadogan, DrPH, RN, GNP-BC, Professor, Adjunct Series, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Nursing, Factor 5–952, Box 956919, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6919; e-mail: .firstname.lastname@example.org