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JAMA. 2009 Jul 1;302(1):73-80. doi: 10.1001/jama.2009.822. Epub 2009 Jun 2.

A 70-year-old woman with shingles: review of herpes zoster.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, CHB 303, 1600 Seventh Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35294-0011, USA.

Erratum in

  • JAMA. 2010 Feb 24;303(8):734.
  • JAMA. 2009 Nov 4;302(17):1864.


Herpes zoster is a common late complication of varicella-zoster virus exposure and can be further complicated by postherpetic neuralgia. Ms A is a 70-year-old woman with shingles and Ramsay-Hunt syndrome who presented to the emergency department with a few days of earache followed by pain in the back of her head. Using her case as a springboard, the diagnosis, natural history, and treatment of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia in immunocompetent older adults are reviewed, in addition to the effectiveness of the herpes zoster vaccine.

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