Urgent need to expand use of shingles vaccine and treat shingles-related pain

Shingles, a reactivation of the herpes zoster (chickenpox) virus affects nearly 1 in 3 Americans. About 1 million cases are diagnosed each year, with some patients suffering excruciating pain and itching due to post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a complication of the viral infection that can last for years despite treatment. The latest information on shingles and PHN, including a new, improved vaccine to prevent shingles and alternative therapies to control symptoms, are discussed in a special focus section in Population Health Management, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

The issue features an interview with Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, president of the vaccines unit of Merck (MRK), the company that manufactures the vaccine, and former director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It also includes a Roundtable discussion featuring a panel comprised of some of the world's leading experts on PHN including Rafael Harpaz, MD, from the Centers for Disease Control; an article on the biology underlying reactivation of the zoster virus; and a study focused on the role that nutrition may have in shingles therapy. Barbara Yawn, MD, MSc, Director of Research, Olmsted Medical Center and Adjunct Professor, Department of Family and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Rochester, MN, is the guest editor of the special section.

"Shingles can be a devastating condition, especially for who have a 30% chance of continuing to have the often debilitating pain of PHN," says Guest Editor Dr. Yawn. "This is a condition that deserves continuing attention from the public, physicians, and nurses, as well as researchers."

"This issue of is especially valuable because it captures the extensive research taking place on shingles and PHN, in addition to the treatment options that have been shown to reduce dramatically the number of shingles cases," says Editor-in-Chief David B. Nash, MD, MBA, Dean and Dr. Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor, Jefferson School of , Philadelphia, PA.

More information: The articles in this special section are available free on the Population Health Management website at www.liebertpub.com/pop.

Provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

CDC finds most seniors don’t get shingles vaccination

Jan 11, 2011

Although a vaccine to prevent shingles has been available since 2006, less than 7 percent of U.S. seniors -- the demographic most frequently affected by the disease -- chose to receive the vaccination as of ...

New study alters long-held beliefs about shingles

Feb 01, 2011

For decades, medical wisdom about shingles has been that it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The commonly-held belief is that patients are protected from a recurrence of the herpes zoster virus, which causes shingles, after ...

Recommended for you

UN implores all countries to help on Ebola

1 hour ago

The international group Doctor Without Borders warned Tuesday that the world is 'losing the battle' against Ebola, while U.N. officials implored all countries to quickly step up their response by contributing health experts ...

Travel restrictions could worsen Ebola crisis: experts

6 hours ago

Travel restrictions could worsen West Africa's Ebola epidemic, limiting medical and food supplies and keeping out much-needed doctors, virologists said Tuesday as the disease continued its deadly spread.

World 'losing battle' to contain Ebola: MSF (Update)

7 hours ago

International medical agency Medecins sans Frontieres said Tuesday the world was "losing the battle" to contain Ebola as the United Nations warned of severe food shortages in the hardest-hit countries.

Mutating Ebola viruses not as scary as evolving ones

7 hours ago

My social media accounts today are cluttered with stories about "mutating" Ebola viruses. The usually excellent ScienceAlert, for example, rather breathlessly informs us "The Ebola virus is mutating faster in humans than in animal hosts ...

War between bacteria and phages benefits humans

8 hours ago

In the battle between our immune systems and cholera bacteria, humans may have an unknown ally in bacteria-killing viruses known as phages. In a new study, researchers from Tufts University, Massachusetts ...

User comments