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New study shows fewer cases of chicken pox due to vaccine

Many parents, teachers, and adults know and fear the signs of the dreaded chicken pox disease. Also known as Varicella, this incredibly contagious airborne infection is identified through the blister-like rash that develops on patients and spreads throughout the body. However, research from a study recently published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society shows that hospitalizations related to chicken pox have declined by 93 percent since the vaccine was first introduced in 1995, according to Medical News Today.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers Jessica Leung and Dr. Rafael Harpaz studied national health care claims from 1994 to 2012, where they discovered that the largest drop in cases was in children aged 1 to 19.

Before the vaccine was introduced in 1995, around 4 million people were recorded to suffer from the disease each year and 90 percent of these cases were in children under the age of 15. Furthermore, the disease caused around 10,600 individuals to be hospitalized each year, with around 100 to 150 fatal cases. Schools were high risk areas as children were in close proximity and susceptible to contracting the disease, which can be spread easily by coughing and sneezing. 

In 2006, a second dose of this vaccine was recommended, which led to a further decrease in outpatient cases and hospitalizations, according to Parents.com. Now, the first dose is usually administered to infants ranging from 12 to 15 months and then the second round is given to children between four and six years old. The study found that as a result of the introduction of the second dosage, after 2006, there were 60 percent fewer outpatient visits and 38 percent fewer hospitalizations.

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