CHICKENPOX OR VARICELLA VACCINE
Last Updated : 2/1/2016
Sayenna Uduman
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Preamble
Chickenpox or Varicella is the primary clinical manifestation of infection with varicella-zoster virus. Formerly a common childhood infection that affected almost all children, varicella is now relatively uncommon because of successful prevention with universal vaccination.
Varicella is highly communicable, with an attack rate of 90% in close contacts. Most people become infected before adulthood but 10% of young adults remain susceptible. However, this pattern of infection is not universal, eg. in rural India, a higher proportion of primary cases are seen in adolescents and young adults . It was suggested that this could be due to interference by other respiratory viruses that the children are exposed to at an early age.
Differences in epidemiology described between temperate and tropical climates and disease acquisition at a latter age, in some tropical settings. Disease burden depends on age-specific incidence, morbidity & mortality and number of risk factors for severe disease in the community. Population-based data extremely limited especially from low/middle income countries including India.
Recent sero-epidemiologic data from developing countries shows nearly two-thirds of pre-school children, 39% of primary school children, and 29% of adolescents aged 13–17 years are susceptible to VZV infection. At this level of immunity, it can be expected that outbreaks will continue to occur unless the varicella immunization coverage is sustained at a highest possible rate, at national levels.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures

Sayenna Uduman
Sayenna A Uduman MD, FAAP
Visiting Professor, Infection Control Committee & ID Division of the KIMS
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India


First Created : 1/3/2001

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