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Vaccination could eliminate chicken pox-related deaths in the U.S.

Chicken pox is, traditionally, temporarily uncomfortable for kids and troublesome for parents. But in some rare cases, it's much more: Varicella (chicken pox's scientific name) can lead to infections and pneumonia in otherwise healthy children and adults, and a small but significant number of people die each year.

Luckily, vaccination - this fairy tale's hero - has just about vanquished varicella's villainous virus, according to a CDC study published today in Pediatrics. 

For the study, the researchers tracked deaths by varicella since the introduction of the vaccine in 1995. In 2007, there were 14 directly varicella-related deaths in the United States, as opposed to an annual average of 105 in the four years leading up to the vaccine's introduction. In 2006, the CDC suggested that a second dose of the vaccine could completely eliminate varicella deaths in the country.

Previously: The cost of forgoing routine vaccinations
Via Health Blog

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