Monday, April 04, 2005

Varicella-Related Deaths

Measles is a serious disease. After reading this report I realize that varicella can kill even healthy children, too.

Information from the report: During 2003 and the first half of 2004, CDC received reports of eight varicella-related deaths. Six of the eight deaths occurred among children and adolescents aged <20.

Varicella is >95% preventable by vaccination.

Nevertheless, old fashioned chickenpox parties have become popular among parents who distrust vaccines. It goes this way: Parents whose kids come down with the pox are calling the neighbours, and inviting everyone over for some direct exposure.

But exposure is dangerous, because people can and do die from the disease.

In the pre-vaccine days, about 100 people died each year from chicken pox.

A Feb. 3 article in the New England Journal of Medicine
Conclusions: the program of universal childhood vaccination against varicella in the United States has resulted in a sharp decline in the rate of death due to varicella.

The Effectiveness of the Varicella Vaccine in Clinical Practice
Conclusions: Varicella vaccine is highly effective as used in clinical practice.

Can varicella be eliminated by vaccination?
Conclusions: In summary, routine childhood varicella vaccination appears to be a highly efficient strategy to significantly reduce the sizeable burden of varicella and would lead to net savings from both the societal but also the payer perspective.

What is so difficult to understand about these facts?

See who links to your web site.