*Rate per 100,000 population based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s population data as of July 1, 2002
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.
In 2002, there were 129 reported cases of varicella associated with hospitalization in Indiana, for a rate of 2.09 cases per 100,000 population (Table 1). Figure 1 shows reported cases by year from 1998-2002. As Figure 2 shows, age-specific rates were greatest for infants under the age of 1 year (22.32), followed by preschoolers aged 1-4 years (6.39), and children aged 5-9 years (6.38).
There was one case death due to varicella reported in Indiana in 2002.
*Data Source: Indiana Hospital Discharge Data furnished by the Indiana Hospital&Health Association