The Relationship between Varicella (Chicken Pox) and Scarlet Fever in Contemporary Hong Kong

11 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2017

See all articles by Stephen Coleman

Stephen Coleman

Metropolitan State University (retired)

Date Written: June 13, 2017

Abstract

Scarlet fever epidemics have reemerged in China, the UK, and Hong Kong. This research tests whether the scarlet fever epidemics in Hong Kong are linked to varicella epidemics. Varicella infection is a known risk for invasive Group A Streptococcal infections, and new historical research also shows that varicella epidemics were associated with scarlet fever epidemics in the early 20th century in the United States. This analysis examines the relationship between these two disease in Hong Kong from 2011 to 2015 and compares varicella rates before and after the reintroduction of scarlet fever. Analysis shows that scarlet fever and varicella have synchronous annual epidemic cycles, and a mathematical model of the relationship between scarlet fever and varicella is estimated. Varicella rates were unchanged by the return of scarlet fever, but annual varicella cycles may have influenced the size and timing of scarlet fever outbreaks.

Keywords: Varicella, Chickenpox, Scarlet Fever, Streptococcal Infection, Hong Kong

Suggested Citation

Coleman, Stephen, The Relationship between Varicella (Chicken Pox) and Scarlet Fever in Contemporary Hong Kong (June 13, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2985571 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2985571

Stephen Coleman (Contact Author)

Metropolitan State University (retired) ( email )

St. Paul, MN 55108
United States

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