Chicken pox parties

(214 Posts)
RosebudTheCat Sat 07-Dec-13 12:19:18

A relative has asked if I'd like to expose my two kids to her DD, who has chicken pox. My youngest is just 8mo. AIBU to think it was a stupid question to ask? Do people really still do 'chicken pox parties'?

thegreylady Sun 15-Dec-13 10:05:01

Just to say that when dd took dgs to the GP last week a mum with two children, a baby and a two year old, came over and asked if he had chickenpox. Dd confirmed this and the mum said,"I hope my two catch it, I want them to have it before they start school." She was dissuaded from encouraging dgs to "Give the baby a cuddle!" when dd explained that the two little ones would probably be ill over Christmas!
The good news is that the doctor said dgs' spots were almost all crusted over and provided no new ones appeared he could go back to school on Monday. He gave Fugicin ointment for the two that looked a bit dodgy and they are now better.
Thank God. That was the youngest of my dgc and the last to get cp. Some of the things I have read here have changed my perception of what I always viewed as a fairly mild childhood illness. I will never forget reading ClutchingPearls account of her little boys traumatic experience last year, from when he was "still sleeping" until she finally got him home. I was wondering how they were.

Sockreturningpixie, Regardless of the pros and cons of CP Parties I don't think GPs would dare recommend them now. Everybody sues everybody these days.

I'm not completely for or against them myself. I just think that someone who weighs the risk and decides it's safer that way is not a moron as some posters earlier were saying.

If they could vaccinate and guarantee that they won't get it as an adult that would be a whole new situation.

DazzleU Wed 11-Dec-13 10:24:13

Why should the NHS be paying millions to vaccinate children against a disease that very rarely causes serious complications.

www.telegraph.co.uk/health/nhs/10424112/GPs-disbelief-at-250m-shingles-jab-to-save-200-lives.html

There a whole article saying the same about shingles vaccine.

I had one DGP die from shingles but two more relative have it one in 80s and one in 60s. The two that were ill were in pain for months and very ill for months - which had knock on effects to other family members. 80 year old needed more support from working relatives and 60 year old was provide free around school childcare and acting as carer for another relative.

One reason to vaccinate against chickenpox is that when those DC are old they won't, or much much less likely to develop, shingles.

www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10429438/Should-we-get-over-our-phobia-of-vaccines-and-act-against-chicken-pox.html

Don't have the time to go back and read through again, but seem to recall the elderly stats were run as a separate study.
The first link clearly dealt with degree that Varicella pneumonia stats were influenced by smoking, the second did not but full text may well do......... again, I do not have time to run the research this morning.

Thank you for prompting me to go back and confirm the original consultant info though. Times have moved on, as have drugs, and it is very good news that the stats have improved a bit for adult deaths from severe cp.

MrsDeVere Wed 11-Dec-13 09:41:16

The studies I have looked at quickly mention pneumonia as the reason for death rates.
Smoking increases the risk.

I haven't seen the age range the studies were done on but if they are 18 - 100 they would be seriously skewed.

Sock the second extract was from a different journal entry ... here and doesn't mention smoking.
It does say 'previously' healthy, though, not 'perfectly', so perhaps it covers those who may have smoking related issues, but insufficient to have required any medical treatments?
Not my article so can't clarify sad Full text may offer more.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 11-Dec-13 09:06:55

Did you omit a word there?

Perfectly healthy smokers? Or do they no longer say its a complication that mainly effects pregnant women (the more pregnant the more likely) and smokers?

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 11-Dec-13 09:04:26

I misread your initial post as 1 in 8 adults who get cp die. Was confused for a while.

Those of you who think cp parties are a great idea, why do you think doctors no longer say go for it,they used to before the ed of the 70's nowadays if you asked about it at the minimum you would get that look they do (the one that makes you squirm and go red).

Also interesting, from Journal of Infectious Diseases
Despite declining fatality rates, in 1990–1994, adults had a risk 25 times greater and infants had a risk 4 times greater of dying from varicella than did children 1–4 years old, and most people who died of varicella were previously healthy. Varicella deaths are now preventable by vaccine

...and, again, thank goodness medical research continues to advance.

thegreylady Wed 11-Dec-13 08:36:41

Dd just rang to say she is staying at home with dgs today as she doesn't like the look of one of the spots near his eye. She says he is still quite chipper in himself but very uncomfortable. How long do the spots keep on coming out?

bumbleymummy Wed 11-Dec-13 08:18:42

Sorry X-post HaveA. That's very interesting.

bumbleymummy Wed 11-Dec-13 08:17:33

You would think that MrsDV but complications are more common and usually more serious in adults NHS
"Adults with the virus are more likely to be admitted into hospital. Approximately 5-14% of adults with chickenpox develop lung problems, such as pneumonia. If you smoke, your risk of developing lung problems is much greater."

It's the same for most childhood illnesses - measles, mumps etc - they are more serious in adulthood.

Have just done a quick whizz through and located this info here

In our study, the frequency of respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation was 42%, a finding that indicates that patients with Varicella pneumonia are at high risk for respiratory failure and subsequently require mechanical ventilation. With supportive management, the majority of them recovered. The overall mortality rate was 5.3%, which is lower than the reported 10-33% in the literature. Improvement in mortality is likely to be the result of several factors, including better respiratory support in ICUs, early diagnosis and institution of acyclovir therapy.[2] However, all patients in this study were treated with acyclovir, which may explain the low mortality rate.

This study ran 1992-2005, so I assume the higher mortality referred to was the data the consultant referenced, as I was ill in '92. The reasons for improved stats are clear...........and very good to see smile

MrsDeVere Wed 11-Dec-13 07:45:58

I can't find anything that supports that figure.
I would think that I very high number like that would be all over the place.

Children get CP internally too. It is not an adult complication.

As children are generally more vulnerable than adults you would think that it would make CP more dangerous in that group wouldn't you?

I wouldn't comment on any mothers choice to actively seek out chicken pox infection, or not, nut would say that trying to avoid every infection is not the wisest course.

My mother kept me as protected from infections as much she possibly could, as a child.
As a result, I caught everything from my children (this was pre MMR!!)
I almost died from cp, which went internally.
I was so ill with mumps, and the aftermath, that I couldn't care for my baby for weeks.
Adults - as a general rule - are far more sick than children if they get 'childhood' illnesses. Where cp affects internal areas, 1 in 8 adults die. (sorry, can't ref that stat ...straight from the consultant who treated me)

ProudAS Wed 11-Dec-13 07:03:07

I doubt he went through childhood without any exposure but feels he may have got off more lightly with deliberate exposure as a child.

ProudAS, he probably was exposed as a child but just didnt get it.

www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1194947358374 - hpa says 5 days from spots first appearing

ProudAS Tue 10-Dec-13 22:31:09

It seems that catching CP is the best form of immunisation (other than in babies) which is why some people want their DC to get it over with.

DH had it as an adult and wishes he had been exposed as a child.

bumbleymummy Tue 10-Dec-13 21:38:56

Lucius, you have to wait until the last one has crusted. Hopefully it won't take too much longer if she started last Wednesday.

Lillly, I don't really think they're comparable because the risk of complications from CP is less than the risk of complications from measles. While people may have delayed, or opted for singles, most people still vaccinated against measles because the risk of complications from the vaccine was less than the risk of complications for measles (for some children this was not the case the parents made a different decision).

In this case, the risk of complications from CP is very small and, in fact, seems to be less than the risk of having a serious reaction to the vaccine. It seems strange to me that people are prepared to take the risk with the vaccine and assume that their child will not have a bad reaction to it but are worried about their child having severe complications from CP - you don't know either way and the odds are actually in the favour of CP (particularly when you take boosters throughout life into consideration as well)

Also worth noting that the CP vaccine is not as effective in adults so if you do need a booster in later life it is less likely to work for you and you may end up completely unprotected in adulthood.

Lillilly Tue 10-Dec-13 21:29:36

You could flip this thread , go back 15 years and we could be talking about the MMR. I remember the conversations, lots of anecdotes about horrific effects of the jab, people taking the view that it isn't worth the risk, and people saying they couldn't live with themselves if the jab meant something happened to their child...

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Tue 10-Dec-13 21:28:14

Question about Chicken pox, DD started first having spots last wednesday, most are all crusted over now, when is it safe to take DD out again?

bumbleymummy Tue 10-Dec-13 21:00:52

Lol! I don't think that's being pessimistic - just realistic! smile As I pointed out - 8-10 years could mean waning immunity when you are more at risk of complications. Having CP gives lifelong immunity in over 90% of people - no need for boosters.(which, as vaccines, also carry a risk.)

New guidelines for tetanus are 5 shots in a lifetime - not every 10 years. Although reading about the tetanus vaccine is very interesting.Very few cases of tetanus annually and nearly half of the cases are up to date. I wonder will we see a new vaccine soon.

If you vaccinate everyone then those natural boosters won't be there ;)

If you look at the figures, your daughter is as likely(if not more likely) to die or suffer a serious complication from the vaccine as she is from the disease. Add up all those boosters over the years and factor in the risk of her not being immune anyway...

Never mind 8 years what about 25 years or 50? I'm just glad I had it as a child when it was safer.

I was so ill with CP I had to take a couple of days off school and watch TV.

Ah, a pessimist. You see I read that information with a more optimistic outlook. 81-86% sounds very good to me after eight years. Other studies in Japan, where they have been vaccinating since 1988, show no decline in effectiveness after twenty years.

I think this compares well to tetanus and diphtheria which only last 5-10 years. The flu vaccine only lasts one year.

As to boosters, yes she will have them if the medical community suggest this is necessary. She will also have natural boosters from coming into contact with children with chickenpox.

By 'tiny dose' I meant a very small amount of live virus.

What looks good to me is my DD not dying or suffering serious disability from a disease that I could have vaccinated for.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now