There have been a number of new developments in the field of VZV concerning pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. These include improved understanding of how latent infection develops and is maintained, the development and, we hope, licensure of live attenuated varicella vaccine for routine use in children and in adults who have not had varicella, an increased availability of antiviral therapy for healthy and immunocompromised patients, and the development of newer diagnostic techniques, including PCR to diagnose illnesses caused by VZV and LA for rapid, sensitive, and accurate determination of immune status to VZV. Even as vaccine use becomes more and more widespread, we will continue to need effective antiviral therapy for VZV for use in immunocompromised persons and in those in whom zoster develops. Eventually it may be possible to develop either a vaccine or an antiviral drug that prevents the development of latent VZV infection. Until that time, however, VZV will remain with us, and we will continue to need an effective antiviral armamentarium, including diagnostic techniques, passive immunization, antiviral therapy, and vaccine.