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To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for the increase in the number of hospital admissions of people with chickenpox; and whether he has made an assessment of the correlation between the rate of cases of chickenpox and hospital admissions.
Public Health England has not assessed the correlation between the rates of cases of chickenpox and hospital admissions. However, in 2019, Eurosurveillance published a study of hospitalisation due to varicella in England between 2004 and 2017.
The study showed there were 61,024 admissions with varicella between 2004 and 2017 and 38.1% had a recognised varicella complication. Hospitalisation increased by 25% and the proportion with complicated varicella increased by 24% from 2004/05 to 2016/17. The most common complications were bacterial skin infections, pneumonia, febrile convulsions and encephalitis.