Shingles, an acute infection of the nervous system, and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a painful complication of zoster that can prolong recovery, are likely to be seen more frequently in the U.S. workplace as the population ages and as workers return to the workplace in immunocompromised states (e.g., with AIDS, after treatment for cancer, and after organ transplantation). Shingles and PHN could adversely affect productivity and lead to absenteeism. Zostavax is a new vaccine effective for preventing shingles and PHN. Occupational health nurses can recognize potential cases of shingles and refer for treatment early. Occupational health nurses are also in a position to establish vaccination campaigns or to recommend vaccinations to employees. It is anticipated that early intervention and prevention of shingles could reduce absenteeism, improve productivity in the workplace, and significantly improve quality of life for the aging work force.
AuthorsSheila M Litchfield
JournalAAOHN journal : official journal of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN J) Vol. 58 Issue 6 Pg. 228-31 (Jun 2010) ISSN: 0891-0162 [Print] United States
PMID20677717 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
CopyrightCopyright 2010, SLACK Incorporated.
Chemical References
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine
  • Absenteeism
  • Cost of Illness
  • Herpes Zoster (complications, epidemiology, etiology, prevention & control)
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine (administration & dosage)
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic (etiology)
  • Occupational Diseases (complications, epidemiology, etiology, prevention & control)
  • Occupational Health
  • Occupational Health Nursing
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • United States (epidemiology)
  • Vaccination

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