Chickenpox cases fall 80% over decade: CDC

August 16, 2012 By Margaret Steele, HealthDay Reporter
Chickenpox cases fall 80% over decade: CDC
Two-dose schedule will deliver further improvement, experts say.

(HealthDay) -- Chickenpox cases in the United States dropped almost 80 percent between 2000 and 2010 in 31 states following routine use of the varicella vaccine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

Updated figures published by the CDC Thursday also show that in the four years after a two-dose vaccine was recommended for children in 2006, cases of declined about 70 percent. The biggest drop occurred in children between the ages of 5 and 9.

"This is one of our success stories," Dr. Charles Shubin, medical director of the Children's Health Center of Mercy FamilyCare in Baltimore, said when earlier figures were released last year.

The number of with adequate chickenpox reporting systems jumped from 12 to 31 between 2000 and 2010, allowing the CDC to better monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine, introduced for routine use in the United States in 1996, the agency said.

In those 31 states reporting, incidence of dropped from 43 cases per 100,000 population in 2000 to nine cases per 100,000 in 2010, the CDC said.

"State reported to CDC are now adequate for monitoring national trends in varicella incidence," the agency said in this week's issue of . But, only with information from all 50 states can health officials paint a complete picture. "Continued strengthening of the and participation from all states is needed to monitor fully the impact of the routine second dose of varicella vaccine," the researchers said.

Symptoms of this common infectious disease include an itchy rash on the face, scalp or trunk, fever and headache. Most cases are mild, lasting five to 10 days, but some people become seriously ill. Adults typically become sicker than children.

In 2010, four chickenpox-related deaths were reported, but none of those were patients known to have had the varicella vaccination, the CDC said.

The CDC recommends that children get two doses of varicella vaccine -- the first dose between 12 and 15 months of age, the second between 4 and 6 years of age or at least three months after the first dose.

Teenagers and adults who have not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine should also get two doses, at least four weeks apart.

Initially, just one dose of vaccine was recommended. As two-dose vaccination increases, the CDC expects to see further declines in chickenpox. While some people may still develop the virus after vaccination, those breakthrough cases tend to be mild, the agency said.

Explore further: Measles-containing vaccines not linked with increased risk of febrile seizures in kids 4-6

More information: To learn more about chickenpox vaccination, see the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Related Stories

Measles-containing vaccines not linked with increased risk of febrile seizures in kids 4-6

April 2, 2012
Vaccines for measles were not associated with an increased risk of febrile seizures among 4-6 year olds during the six weeks after vaccination, according to a study by the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center that appears ...

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.