Google Honours Inventor of Chickenpox Vaccine Michiaki Takahashi Today – Doodle on Google’s homepage on 17th February – Chickenpox (varicella zoster) virus has been eradicated, thanks to the vaccine developed by Dr. Michiaki Takahashi a Japanese virologist, who would have been 94 years old today.
Takahashi, who died in 2013, is recognized for his research on measles and polio vaccines. In 1964, his 3 year old son fell sick after coming into contact with the daughter of a neighbouring family in Houston.
The young boy had a high fever, and blister-like rash that covered his body. He’d become one of millions of kids in the U.S. who (until 1995) got sick with chickenpox every year.
Takahashi, then a doctor from Japan who had come to Texas on a research fellowship at Baylor University, decided to do something about it.
“I realised then that I should use my knowledge of viruses to develop a chickenpox vaccine,”
A varicella vaccination campaign was conducted on 23 uninfected patients to prevent the spread of the infection. The results were positive, with no cases detected among the vaccinated. In 1974, ten years after Takahashi’s son contracted the disease, the Lancet published the findings demonstrating the safety and efficacy of the varicella Oka strain vaccine.
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Read more about Google Honours Inventor of Chickenpox Vaccine Michiaki Takahashi at https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/google-doodle-honours-dr-michiaki-takahashi/article65058366.ece