Chicken pox cases rise in Michigan

Posted at 4:23 PM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-12 16:24:05-04

Ever since a vaccine was introduced two decades ago, chicken pox cases have dropped substantially.

But, state health officials have seen a significant increase in chicken pox cases this year.

Dr. Christina Chen of Beaumont Children's Hospital said, "Why endure that or why put a child at risk for getting something that is 100% preventable."

Pediatricians are reminding parents to get their child up to date on their chicken pox vaccine.

The state health department released a report for 2016 through April that reports 239 cases of chicken pox.

That's a 57% increase compared to last year.

In most of the cases, the patients had not been vaccinated.

Chicken pox was very common, until a vaccine was introduced in 1995.

Before the vaccine, about 11,000 people were hospitalized for chickenpox each year in the U.S., according to the CDC.

"Often people who cannot survive it or those who particularly are sick and have some other chronic illness, and even those who are well can get secondary infections after the chicken pox, which can be life threatening or can make them very ill and hospitalized for long period of time."

According to CDC, if you were born after 1980 and never had chicken pox, you still can get the vaccine, which comes in two doses.