CDC: Chickenpox Deaths Plummeted Since Vaccine

A new government study says deaths from the chickenpox have been dramatically reduced, thanks to the vaccine for the disease. And researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the drop has been most significant among children.

The study found that chickenpox deaths fell from an average of 105 per year to 14, after the vaccine had been available for 12 years.

Study co-author Jane Seward of the CDC says, "To see the near elimination of chickenpox deaths in this country is very exciting."

Chickenpox is caused by a virus and is highly contagious. Most kids suffer no more than an itchy skin rash and a fever, but symptoms can be serious.

Severe cases are more common among adolescents and adults who get it for the first time. Also, the virus can reactivate in people later in life and cause a painful illness called shingles.

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  • by Audra Location: SoCal on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:28 AM
    One problematic statement in this article - and it's a big one. You can also develop shingles later in life if you've had the chicken pox vaccine. You're still leaving the virus dormant in your system, either way. It is not a preventative measure for shingles in any way, shape, or form. It merely reduces the risks around chicken pox exposure. Accuracy is important in reporting on such issues.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 25, 2011 at 04:15 AM
    How many children had harmful side effects or died from the vaccine?
    • reply
      by Ratman on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:09 AM in reply to
      Yeah, but think of the thousands if not tens of thousands who will not get sick/die because they took it.

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