Prevalence and Incidence of Chickenpox


About prevalence and incidence statistics: The term 'prevalence' of Chickenpox usually refers to the estimated population of people who are managing Chickenpox at any given time. The term 'incidence' of Chickenpox refers to the annual diagnosis rate, or the number of new cases of Chickenpox diagnosed each year. Hence, these two statistics types can differ: a short-lived disease like flu can have high annual incidence but low prevalence, but a life-long disease like diabetes has a low annual incidence but high prevalence. For more information see about prevalence and incidence statistics.

Incidence (annual) of Chickenpox: 120,624 annually (1995); 46,016 annual cases notified in USA 1999 (MMWR 1999); 199.14 per 100,000 in Canada 20001
Incidence Rate: approx 1 in 2,254 or 0.04% or 120,624 people in USA [about data]
Prevalance of Chickenpox: Almost everyone gets chickenpox by adulthood (more than 95% of Americans). Chickenpox is highly contagious. CDC estimates that 4 million cases occur each year. 2

1. Notifiable Diseases Online, PPHB, Canada, 2000
2. excerpt from Facts About Chickenpox (Varicella): CDC-OC

Last revision: October 23, 2003

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