Navigation Links
Chicken pox vaccination should be introduced for children in the UK
Date:11/9/2007

The only realistic way of preventing deaths and severe complications arising from chickenpox is to routinely vaccinate children against the disease, concludes research published ahead of print in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

At present, only healthcare workers and others likely to be at risk of contracting or passing on the infection, are routinely immunised in the UK. But vaccination programmes for children have been introduced in several other countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia, and Finland.

The authors base their conclusions on active monitoring by paediatricians in the UK and Ireland of children up to the age of 16 admitted to hospital with severe complications resulting from chickenpox infection.

During the monitoring period, which ran for 13 months between 2002 and 2003, 188 cases were reported to the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit.

Of these, 112 children met the criteria, giving a case rate of 0.82 per 100,000. Their average age was 3 years.

The complications included septic shock, pneumonia, and encephalitis, as well as uncoordinated movement (ataxia), toxic shock syndrome, and "flesh eating" bacterial infection (necrotising fasciitis).

Almost half the children (46%) had additional bacterial infections.

Six children died. One child died in the womb. Although four of the five other children, who were aged between 2 and 14 years, already had a pre-existing medical condition, these were not groups currently targeted for immunisation.

After discharge, 4 out of 10 children had ongoing problems as a result of their infection, including, most commonly, ataxia or skin scarring.

Their average length of hospital stay was seven days, but ranged from one to 68.

Most of these children were healthy before they contracted the virus, say the authors. Universal immunisation could have prevented their complications, as they were mostly old enough to have received the vaccine.

An accompanying editorial in the journal comments: "Chickenpox has traditionally been viewed as an irritating but inevitable infection to be endured during childhood, a rite of passage during the preschool years."

"This benign view persists despite evidence that certain groups, including neonates, adults, pregnant women, and the immunocompromised have higher risks of severe disease," it continues.

The authors point out that new cases of chickenpox have been rising among pre-school children, and for every 1000 cases, between two and five children will have to be admitted to hospital.

The simplest strategy would be to switch from the triple MMR vaccine to one that also included immunity against chickenpox (varicella), using the recently licensed MMRV jab, say the authors. But unfounded fears about MMR are likely make this difficult to implement at present. But varicella vaccine could be offered to all teenagers who have not yet been infected.

"This could prevent cases of severe disease in adults and pregnant women and raise public awareness of the potential and desirability of primary prevention," they conclude.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emma Dickinson
edickinson@bmj.com
44-020-738-36529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Farewell chicken tenders
2. Growing Number of U.S. Kids Not Getting Needed Vaccinations
3. Flu Vaccinations Begin on September 29 Maxim Health Systems to Provide 24,000 Flu Shot Clinics Nationwide
4. Childhood vaccination may protect adult eyes
5. Launch of New Educational Campaign, Spread the Word - NOT the Flu!, Aims to Highlight Importance of Influenza Vaccination
6. Novartis Vaccines Launches National Gift-Giving Program to Help Protect Loved Ones by Reserving an Influenza Vaccination
7. American College of Physicians recommends flu vaccination for health-care workers
8. A missed shot: The failure of HPV vaccination state requirements
9. Umbilical cord clamping should be delayed, says expert
10. Doctors and medical ethicist discuss whether doctors should participate in capital punishment
11. Doctors and Medical Ethicist Discuss Whether Doctors Should Participate in Capital Punishment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is ... a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the ... one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 ... their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Montreal, Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... the pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high ... low, risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support ... as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are ... Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute ... presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June ... MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June ... Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  ... Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Any dentist who has made an implant supported denture ... of them do not even offer this as a viable ... costs involved. And those who ARE able to offer that ... cost that the majority of today,s patients would not be ... , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor of Implanova ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data ... analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the ... analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: