Monday, January 03, 2011

Since Chickenpox Vaccine, Fewer Are Hospitalized with the Disease

Male Chicken Pox infected patient

This is very good news.
Studies have shown that after vaccination against the varicella virus that causes chickenpox became standard, yearly rates of chickenpox infections in the U.S. fell by 80 percent to 90 percent over the next decade.

For the new study, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at how rates of chickenpox-related hospitalizations have changed.

While most cases of chickenpox simply make people feel miserable -- with symptoms including an itchy, blister-like rash, fever, headache and fatigue -- some people do develop potentially serious complications.

They include skin infections, vomiting that leads to dehydration, pneumonia and inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis.

The CDC researchers found that between 2000 and 2006, the yearly number of hospitalizations for chickenpox complications stood at 0.1 for every 10,000 (or one in 100,000) Americans. That compared with a rate of 0.4 per 10,000 people each year between 1988 and 1995 -- before the varicella vaccine was introduced.

Overall, hospitalizations fell by 71 percent over the study period. The researchers estimate that chickenpox vaccination prevented a total of 50,000 hospitalizations between 2000 and 2006.

"This further supports what we've been seeing -- in that there have been great declines in severe (chickenpox) disease," said lead researcher Adriana S. Lopez.
I wish the vaccine had been available for my children and ME back in the 1980's when my entire family was infected. I was never more sick in my life.

Well, until I had a bad case of influenza a few years ago and was hospitalized for about four days over Christmas. I receive my annual influenza vaccine in a timely manner, now.

I was off from practicing dentistry for at least two weeks with the chicken pox and was weak and pox marked for weeks following. Patients were weary of me for months although I was neither sick nor infective.

Get the chicken pox vaccination for yourself and your children. Believe me, you don't want to catch it.