Varicella zoster virus infections in Norway
The study will calculate the annual number of hospitalisations, primary care consultations and deaths caused by chickenpox and herpes zoster in the Norwegian population.
Effective vaccines against chickenpox and herpes zoster are available but are not included in the immunisation programme in Norway. Experience from other countries shows that vaccination against these diseases reduces incidence and therefore health and social costs. The disease burden of chickenpox and herpes zoster in Norway is unknown.
How is the study conducted?
Information from several national health registries and other sources are linked to calculate the annual number of hospitalisations, primary care consultations and deaths caused by chickenpox and herpes zoster in the Norwegian population. The study uses data about patients with diagnoses compatible with chickenpox and herpes zoster from the Norwegian Patient Registry, Health Economics Administration, Cause of Death Registry, Medical Birth Registry, Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS) and the Norwegian Immunisation Registry (SYSVAK).
In addition, data from a representative sample of anonymous blood samples are also being collected to estimate the proportion of people in different age groups in Norway who have protective immunity against varicella zoster virus. These estimates are used in a mathematical model to predict the effects of vaccination against varicella and shingles in Norway. The model estimates will also be used in cost-effectiveness analyses of different immunisation strategies.
Elmira Flem, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Birgitte Freiesleben de Blasio, Avdeling for infeksjonsepidemiologi og modellering, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Grazina Mirinaviciute, Avdeling for infeksjonsepidemiologi og modellering, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Regional committees for medical and health research ethics
Project owner/ Project manager
Norwegian Institute of Public Health