In one studyparents who changed their minds about either delaying or refusing a vaccination for their child listed "information or assurances from health care provider" as the main reason. Symptoms begin ten to 21 days after exposure, but the average incubation period is about two weeks.
The disease is spread through contact with the fluid inside the blisters as well as through coughing and sneezing. Antihistamines relieve itching and may be used in cases where the itching prevents sleep, because they also act as a sedative.
Although the prevalence of the disease has fallen dramatically since the introduction of the varicella vaccine, gaps in vaccination have allowed for dangerous and sometimes deadly outbreaks to crop up.
The disease is diagnosed based on the presenting symptoms and confirmed by polymerase chain reaction PCR testing of the blister fluid or scabs. The US CDC reports that an average of deaths due to chickenpox were reported each year between and WHO Position Papers.
The number of people in this high-risk group has increased, due to the HIV epidemic and the increased use of immunosuppressive therapies.
Specifically, we look at the public health consequences of this outbreak and what public health officials can do to combat increased risks posed when populations choose not to vaccinate.