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September 8, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(2):137. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970190053019

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To the Editor:—  The treatment of herpes zoster has a perennial popularity in medical writings. Because it is a disease that subsides spontaneously and because its duration may vary from several days to a number of weeks in different patients, the response to a therapeutic agent is difficult to assess. In recent textbooks (Blank, H., and Rake, G.: Viral and Rickettsial Diseases of the Skin, Eye and Mucous Membranes of Man, Boston, Little, Brown & Company, 1955) it has been pointed out that, as with other viral diseases, no specific effective treatment exists. Van Blaricom and Horrax (Chronic Postherpetic Neuralgia, J. A. M. A.161:511 [June 9] 1956) in their recent article have effectively emphasized the variable results to be expected in treating postherpetic neuralgia with even the most modern forms of neurosurgery. All would agree with their suggestion that prevention of the neuralgia by effective treatment during

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