Chickenpox deaths in adults are increasing

November 08, 2001

Chickenpox causes considerable death in adults and may be increasing in importance, finds a study in this week's BMJ. Researchers in London reviewed death certificates from 1995-7 that mentioned "chickenpox" or "varicella." Further information was obtained from the physicians responsible for the patients to clarify the diagnosis.

They found that chickenpox accounts for about 25 deaths annually in England and Wales, more than from measles, mumps, whooping cough, and Hib meningitis combined. Furthermore, deaths in adults have been increasing for at least 30 years and now 81% of deaths from chickenpox are in adults.

Deaths were twice as common in men as in women, add the authors. Men aged 15-44 years accounted for almost half the confirmed male deaths and over a quarter of all confirmed deaths from chickenpox.

A chickenpox vaccine is available, though not yet licensed in the United Kingdom. However, these results do not on their own provide sufficient evidence for mass vaccination, say the authors. "We need information not only on the burden of disease at primary and secondary care levels, but also of the effect of the vaccine on herpes zoster. We also need to ensure a high enough uptake so that the disease does not shift towards the older population and a higher mortality," they conclude.
-end-
Deaths from chickenpox in England and Wales 1995-7: analysis of routine mortality data BMJ Volume 323, pp 1091-3

BMJ

Related Vaccine Articles from Brightsurf:

Who should get the COVID-19 vaccine first?
Nineteen global health experts from around the world have proposed a new, three-phase plan for vaccine distribution -- called the Fair Priority Model -- which aims to reduce premature deaths and other irreversible health consequences from COVID-19.

Breakthrough with cancer vaccine
Scientists have developed a new cancer vaccine with the potential to activate the body's immune system to fight a range of cancers, including leukaemia, breast cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancers.

How to improve the pneumococcus vaccine
Pneumococcus kills 1 million children annually according to the World Health Organization.

US inroads to better Ebola vaccine
As the world focuses on finding a COVID-19 vaccine, research continues on other potentially catastrophic pandemic diseases, including Ebola and Marburg viruses.

Successful MERS vaccine in mice may hold promise for COVID-19 vaccine
In a new study, published April 7 in mBio, researchers from the University of Iowa and the University of Georgia demonstrate that a new vaccine fully protects mice against a lethal dose of MERS, a close cousin of COVID-19.

Coronavirus Vaccine: Where are we and what's next? (video)
You might have heard that COVID-19 vaccine trials are underway in Seattle.

Why isn't there a vaccine for staph?
A study from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Exposing vaccine hesitant to real-life pain of diseases makes them more pro-vaccine
New research from Brigham Young University professors finds there is a better way to help increase support for vaccinations: Expose people to the pain and suffering caused by vaccine-preventable diseases instead of trying to combat people with vaccine facts.

Lifetime flu vaccine?
Another year, another flu vaccine because so far scientists haven't managed to make a vaccine that protects against all strains of flu.

On the horizon: An acne vaccine
A new study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology reports important steps that have been taken towards the development of an acne vaccine.

Read More: Vaccine News and Vaccine Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.