Takahashis young son got very sick. The young boy had a high fever and waves of small red bumps, which eventually became blisters and then open sores covered his body. Hed become one of millions of kids in the us who, until 1995, got sick with chickenpox every year and his dad a doctor from japan who had come to texas on a research fellowship at baylor university, decided to do something about it dad of the year soon. After returning to japan in 1965, takahashi started working on a vaccine that would save kids like his son from having to suffer through chickenpox. He started with a sample of varicella zoster the virus that causes chickenpox from an infected child 200 years ago. That would have been close to the end of the story throughout the 1800s doctors who wanted to vaccinate their patients against smallpox simply collected pus and scabs from people infected with cow pox and horse pox, which dont make people nearly as sick as their cousin smallpox. They simply rub the virus leg, mess into cuts or scratches on the patients arm, which makes getting a shot, especially a shot of something thats never been in another persons body sound like a walk in the park by comparison, fortunately, by 1965 virologists, like takahashi, had more Scientific knowledge at their disposal, takahashi spent the next nine years, growing varicella zoster in a series of cell cultures from humans and guinea pigs gradually breeding a weaker version of the virus.
He called this weekend or attenuated virgin the oka strain and its the basis of the vaccine that protects kids against chickenpox and older people against shingles. Today, the chickenpox vaccine became available in japan in 1986 and in the u.s in 1995.. Since then, millions of kids in more than 80 countries have had the shot. What is chickenpox chickenpox is a disease caused by a virus called varicella zoster. Most of the time it infects young children causing an itchy or painful rash, which gradually evolves into blisters that burst and scab over along with the rash, come fevers, headaches and fatigue. V zoster also causes another illness called shingles, while chickenpox is usually a childhood illness. Shingles. Most often starts older adults thats thanks to the virus, complicated life cycle, which we still dont fully understand when a person first gets infected with v zoster, the virus causes chickenpox once those symptoms fade after about a week. The patient is healthy and no longer contagious, but the virus may be lying in weight. Somehow this is the part we dont yet fully understand. The exhauster can lie dormant in a persons nerve cells for decades when it reactivates for reasons we also dont yet fully understand. It causes shingles a much more painful rash, which also comes with blisters. Sometimes the pain from shingles can last even after the blisters heal, probably because the virus infects the nerves. Adults over 50 can get vaccinated against shingles. That vaccine is a larger dose of the weakened, ochre strain of the virus.
Yes, the vaccine works. No vaccine offers perfect impenetrable protection from illness, but a good vaccine can dramatically shift the odds in a persons favor on average. The chickenpox vaccine is about 90 percent effective at preventing infection and its more than 95 percent effective at preventing serious illness, which means that if you do get sick, your symptoms are likely to be much milder if youve been vaccinated according to the cdc each year. More than 3.5 million cases of chickenpox 9000 hospitalizations and 100 deaths are prevented by chickenpox vaccination in the united states before 1995 about 4 million children a year got chickenpox in the us. For most of them, it meant a week of miserable week of headaches and constant itching. However, for about 12 000 a year, the illness was bad enough to require a trip to the hospital and about 100 to 150 children died from chickenpox every year. By 2005, 10 years after the us introduced, the chickenpox vaccine chickenpox cases nationwide had dropped by about 90 percent in purely quantitative terms, chickenpox exacted a small death toll compared to other childhood scourges like polio, which killed thousands of children in its worst years. During the early 20th century it could be deadly, but it was more often just very unpleasant, but today a simple shot can prevent that suffering and save the lives of 150 children a year thats quite a legacy. Mitchiaki takahashi was born on february 17 1928 and died on december 16.