Chickenpox cases on the rise in Michigan

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Public school student Julio Valenzuela, 11, grimaces as he gets a vaccination at a free immunization clinic for students before the start of the school year, in Lynwood, California August, 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck

LANSING, Mich. – Chickenpox cases and outbreaks are on the rise in Michigan in 2016.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says that there have been 239 chickenpox cases through April.  This is an increase of 57% over last year.

“The chickenpox vaccine is safe and very effective, and is required for school and day care attendance to help prevent the spread of illness,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of MDHHS in a press release. “It is important to know that, despite common misconceptions, illness from chickenpox can be severe and sometimes require hospitalization resulting in serious complications.”

Chickenpox is caused by a virus in the herpes virus family and is characterized by an itchy, blistery rash.  Chickenpox is highly contagious, with the virus spreading easily through coughing, sneezing, and other contact with respiratory secretions. Like other herpes-family viruses, this virus has the capability to remain in the body indefinitely as a latent infection and reactivate later in life. When the chickenpox virus reactivates it causes a painful condition called shingles.

The state says that since the chickenpox vaccine was licensed in 1995, incidences of chickenpox in Michigan have dropped 97%.  The majority of cases so far in 2016 have occurred in children who were not vaccinated.


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  • Kevin Rahe

    What this article doesn’t mention is that periodic exposure to kids with chickenpox actually builds immunity to Shingles. We now have a Shingles epidemic among adults thanks to this vaccine. Between that and the fact that it’s unethically cultured using cells from an aborted baby, it should be banned altogether.

    • Kevin Rahe

      Before the vaccine most everyone got it when they were a kid and didn’t have to worry about it as an adult.

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