Varicella 2003

Table 1. Hospitalized Varicella Cases by Race and Sex, Indiana, 2003

  2003 1999-2003
Cases Rate* Cases
Total 114 1.80 696
Race
   White 79 1.40 518
   Black 15 2.80 83
   Other 20 12.70 95
   Not Reported 0 - 0
Sex
   Male 58 1.90 368
   Female 56 1.80 328
   Not Reported 0 - 0

*Rate per 100,000 population based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s population data as of July 1, 2003

Varicella is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is part of the Herpesvirus family. The virus is spread from person to person by direct contact, droplet or airborne spread of vesicle fluid or secretions of the respiratory tract. Varicella is a vaccine-preventable disease that can be fatal. Nationally, 9 case deaths and 11,000 cases of hospitalization due to varicella in adults and children were reported in 2002 (latest national data available).

In 2003, there were 114 reported cases of varicella associated with hospitalization in Indiana, for a rate of 1.8 cases per 100,000 population (Table 1). Figure 1 shows reported cases by year from 1999-2003. As Figure 2 shows, age-specific rates were greatest for infants under the age of 1 year (9.5), followed by children aged 5-9 years (6.8), and preschoolers aged 1-4 years (4.9).

There were no deaths due to varicella reported in Indiana in 2003.  

*Data Source: Indiana Hospital Discharge Data furnished by the Indiana Hospital&Health Association