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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Chicken pox, second case in house - antiviral?

(12 Posts)
caughtupintheratrace Sat 13-Aug-11 09:08:12

Hi,
My DD(5yo) has just had chicken pox i had to visit GP for another reason but they advised when/if DS (2yo) gets first sign of chicken pox to call GP within 24hrs for antiviral?
GP said this is because second case in household is usually worse, however i have never heard anyone have this advice before. My DS is healthy no issues.
I am not sure what to do as seems a bit unnessesary?
Any opinions/experiences please...
x

mummytime Sat 13-Aug-11 09:17:57

Seems totally unnecessary. Second cases in my household have been pretty much the same as the first.

activate Sat 13-Aug-11 09:18:45

anecdotal - what a pile of crap

hope that helps

HoneyPablo Sat 13-Aug-11 09:20:35

Never heard this before. IME, chicken pox is normally worse the older the child and most of the illness (High temp, tummy bug, general malaise) is before the spots appear anyway.

DaisySteiner Sat 13-Aug-11 09:37:43

Well, my experience has been that subsequent cases have been worse, certainly in terms of number of spots. I seem to remember reading that there is something in that, because they are generally exposed to a higher dose of viral particles because of being in close contact. My 'subsequent case' children didn't get much sicker than their older siblings, although the last one did scar quite badly on his face and personally, if I'd been offered antivirals I would have accepted them (with the benefit of hindsight anyway!)

mrsravelstein Sat 13-Aug-11 09:44:49

dd had it considerably worse than ds2, two weeks after him. but i suspect that was down to her being 1 and him being 3. or just bad luck. i certainly wouldn't give antivirals to an otherwise healthy child for a normal childhood illness.

mercibucket Sat 13-Aug-11 23:24:10

Am amazed a gp would prescribe as they are v expensive but quite amazing - don't be surprised if they backtrack when you phone up, but I'd think about using them - they are amazing

mercibucket Sat 13-Aug-11 23:24:10

Am amazed a gp would prescribe as they are v expensive but quite amazing - don't be surprised if they backtrack when you phone up, but I'd think about using them - they are amazing

CustardCake Sun 14-Aug-11 22:11:02

Are you in the UK? This isn't standard practice unless the child or a family member is immuno compromised in some way (cancer treatment, immuno disease of child or close relative) or unless the child yet to catch CP is much older - over 12.

Interestingly though the GP may have a point about subsequent cases being worse. Prolonged exposure that leads to infection as opposed to casual exposure leading to infection is supposed to result in more spots and a worse "dose" of CP. I don't know what the research says but its one of those snippets that serems widely known and seems to be true for a lot of people. Even so, most otherwise healthy children wouldn't be given anti virals.

timidviper Sun 14-Aug-11 22:13:16

I would not want to give my children antivirals for a routine, though unpleasant, illness and have never heard of this before.

Giddly Sun 14-Aug-11 22:19:58

there is research that suggests subsequent cases in families are worse, probably because of greater exposure to the virus (can't find a link but there was a big study in, I think, Burundi published in a good peer reviewed journal). I beleive they're considering prescribing acyclovir in the US for second or subsequent siblings, but haven't heard of it in the UK.

caughtupintheratrace Mon 15-Aug-11 07:12:06

Hi all, thanks for the replies.
Yes i am in UK, it does seem strange to me. If i hadn't of gone to the GP for another problem i would have just let DS get it and go as usual.
I don't really like giving medicines too much esp if not necessary, feel a bit confused what to do at the moment confused
If it does come out it will be this week, maybe have to call GP again.

Thanks again, anymore advice greatly appreciated x

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