Statistics For Chickenpox

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Statistics For Chickenpox

           Before chickenpox vaccine became available, it the US around 4 million cases of the illness were reported every year. Based on the data available from the years 1988 to 1994, 95.5 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 29 years; 98.9 adults between the ages of 30 and 39 years and over 99.6 percent of the adults aged more than 40 years had immunity to the chickenpox virus. However, during this period, every year around 11,000 people were hospitalized with the illness and out of these 50 to 100 people succumbed to chickenpox. (See Reference 1)

           However, in the year 1995, the government adopted the universal vaccination scheme in order to reduce the number of cases of chickenpox, and also to reduce the associated rates of mortality and morbidity. In three communities in the states of California, Texas and Pennyslvania, by the year 2000, children between the ages of 19 months and 35 months were vaccinated. The percentage of children vaccinated was 74 percent to 84 percent and this helped to bring down the total number of chickenpox cases to 71 percent to 84 percent. It was seen that the majority of declined took place in children aged between 12 months and 4 years, but on the whole there was a reduction of chickenpox amongst all the age groups. (See Reference 1)

           Thanks to the chickenpox vaccination, today less than 10 people succumb to the illness every year, and majority of those are people who have not been vaccinated against chickenpox. While more than 80 percent kids in the US have been vaccinated against the illness, there are still reports of outbreaks. Most of these outbreaks are restricted to day care centers and schools. (See Reference 1)

           Children who get chickenpox expose adults to the virus not just at their homes, but also at schools and day care centers. This exposure is a risk for getting severe chickenpox, which can be fatal at times. According to available statistics for chickenpox, the rate of transmission is around 80 percent to 90 percent in a household where one kid has the illness. Usually, the second and subsequent cases of chickenpox are more severe in nature. (See Reference 1)

           If you check international statistics for chickenpox, it appears that around 80 to 90 million kids who do not immunity get the illness every year. Most of the cases occur in developing countries as the rate of immunization is low because of the associated cost. Hence, those traveling to such countries are at risk of getting exposed to the chickenpox virus. (See Reference 1)

           Based on a survey conducted on 1,473 kids in Japan, it was found that 81.4 percent kids less than 6 years of age get chickenpox. The cases are at a peak between the months of March and May and there are less number of cases between the months of August and October. (See Reference 1)

           It has also been observed that the epidemiology of chickenpox is different in countries with tropical and temperate climates. In the latter, over 90 percent of people get infected by the time they reach adolescence, while in former countries, the infection is prevalent amongst older age group and hence, adults are more prone to chickenpox in these countries. (See Reference 1)

           Statistics for chickenpox also show that maximum number of cases occur in kids between the ages of 1 and 6 years who have not been vaccinated against the virus. Kids older than the age of 14 years account for 10 percent of chickenpox cases. In the US, 10 percent of chickenpox cases is seen among children more than 14 years of age, and the peak age for getting the illness is between 9 years and 11 years. (See Reference 1)

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Statistics For Chickenpox Reference :
1. Medscape: Pediatric Chickenpox: Epidemiology