Healthcare Paper on Effect of Chickenpox in Children

Effect of Chickenpox in Children

Chickenpox (Varicella) is a highly infectious disease characterized by typical pathognomic maculopapular vesicular rashes. It is caused by a virus identified as Alphaherpes virinae, which affects mainly the human beings. Upon incubation, the virus develops to chickenpox as a primary infection followed by a mutable dormancy period and eventually reactivates as herpes zoster (HZ) (Tam et al., 2015). The disease differs according to geographical location, climate, populace density, and socio economic development. The virus is highly infectious among the children with a projected secondary infection rate of 90% (Papaloukas, Giannouli, & Papaevangelou, 2014). Due to the increased prevalence of chickenpox globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested a repetitive childhood varicella vaccination in vulnerable countries (Papaloukas et al., 2014).

Effect of Chickenpox in Children

In the United States, during the pre-vaccine period over four million incidences were reported yearly, with the birth rate totaling the same figure as that of the infection. Similarly, in Germany among 800,000 newborns, 760,000 cases were identified (Papaloukas et al., 2014). Varicella is a childhood sickness attacking kids below twelve with peak occurrence between the age of five and nine years. Though chickenpox is regarded as a mild disease, it can cause severe problem resulting in hospitalization in 2-6 percent of the infected persons. In US, the rate of hospitalization among the virus causalities ranges between 2.3 and 6.3 per 100,000 of the population. The toddlers below the age of five years accounted for more than 40 per cent of hospitalization (Papaloukas et al., 2014). The complications attributed to chickenpox-related infant mortality include pneumonia, central nervous system involvement, secondary bacterial infections (mostly streptococcal and staphylococcal), hemorrhage, and cardiovascular issues. In the United States, within a period of twenty-five years, between1970 to 1994, the average annual deaths caused by the virus was 105. In Europe, the overall mortality is below 0.05/100,000, while in England and Wales it is 0.04-0.05/100,000, and in Germany it is 0.08/100,000 (Papaloukas et al., 2014). Moreover, the disease leads to high temperature (fever), aches, and headaches that usually occur one day before the appearance of rashes. The spots gradually develop in crops creating small blisters that eventually spread all over the body, and turn itchy and painful when scratched (Tam et al., 2015). However, the introduction of varicella vaccination by the WHO reduced the prevalence of the disease and its complications across the globe. For instance, in the USA a significant drop of chickenpox infections was observed in two regions by 77% and 90% in 2000 and 2005 respectively as compared to the pre-vaccination era (Tam et al., 2015).


The prevalence of chickenpox among children up to twelve years is higher than that of adults. The disease is highly contagious and the rate of infection differs according to the geographical region, climate, and population density. Though with minimal complications, it can affect the subject by causing rashes, pneumonia, bacterial infection, and can lead to hospitalization or even deaths in rare cases. The varicella vaccination recommended by WHO helped to decrease the rate of infection globally among the kids and adults. Numerous countries including US have also enhanced the efficient administration of the vaccine, leading to a drop in infant mortality.





Papaloukas, O., Giannouli, G., & Papaevangelou, V. (2014). Successes and challenges in varicella vaccine. Therapeutic Advances in Vaccines, 2(2), 39-55.

Tam, W. W., Chan, J., Lo, K. K., Lee, A., Chan, P. K., Chan, D., & Nelson, E. A. S. (2015). Parental attitudes and factors associated with varicella vaccination in preschool and schoolchildren in Hong Kong: A cross-sectional study. Medicine, 94(36).