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Biography of laureate

Dr. Michiaki Takahashi, M.D.
Japan
2008 in Public Health

Professor Takahashi developed a vaccine isolated from the vesicles of a typical case of chicken pox in a 3-year-old Japanese boy. Named Oka after the boy, the vaccine was developed to prevent chicken pox in a process which is strictly adhered to the standard of the World Health Organisation. The vaccine was widely accepted and used extensively in Japan, Korea, USA, France, as well as Thailand. People who receive this vaccine will develop chicken pox with less fever and no scar, and they will recover in a quickly manner. As they grow older, children who have received the vaccination will experience less severe cases of herpes zoster than those who did not receive vaccination. In adults aged greater than 60, the vaccine is shown to prevent the development of herpes zoster, as well as to reduce its side conditions and to limit the spread of the disease.

Chicken pox or varicella is caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV) placed within the same group as herpes viruses. The symptoms of the disease comprise fever, headache, being bored of food, and skin rashes. The disease is found in all regions of the world, often in children aged younger than 6. In general, the disease has no serious consequence but it is easily transmitted. Rare side conditions of the disease include the inflammation of the brain and lung. In general, the conditions are more serious and take long time to recove in adults.

Professor Takahashi’s discovery of the varicella vaccine led to the worldwide use of the vaccine to prevent chicken pox. The vaccine helps relieve blood and mental pain of the patients as well as reduce the death rate of patients with chicken pox, particularly millions of children from all over the world.

Contact Information
Dr. Michiaki Takahashi, M.D.
Michiaki Takahashi The Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases of Osaka University 3-1, Yamada-oka Suita-City 565-0871 Japan
email: mtakahashi[at]mail.biken.or.jp


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