Science: A Shot in the Arm for Itching

A vaccine for chickenpox could be available by 1986

Measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, diphtheria, polio. One by one in this century the scourges of youth have fallen before the marvel of vaccines. But there has been no similar victory against the last of childhood's common infectious diseases: chickenpox, or as it is known medically, varicella. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the virus-caused illness strikes about 3 million youngsters each year, approximately as many children as there are babies born.

About 85% of all U.S. children have had a bout with the maddeningly itchy, highly contagious disease by age...

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