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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 question

(13 Posts)
MamaMia100 Tue 20-Sep-11 15:04:42

Someone at my DD's nursery has chicken pox. My DD has had the vaccination but I have a 5-week old DS. My question is: if she is exposed to the virus but is immune herself, could she somehow bring the virus home and infect the baby? Should I keep my DD away from nursery for a few weeks? DS has other health issues so I am very keen to avoid any illnesses while he is so little.

Thanks smile

lukewarmmama Tue 20-Sep-11 15:09:15

If they've got chicken pox, why are they at nursery? They should be at home until they are not contagious (usually about 5-7 days). Any pre-spots contagious period will already have happened, so there is nothing you can do about that, and in theory yes, they could have sneezed on your daughter's clothes, and she could have come home and rubbed them on your DS, but its unlikely.

I don't think there is any reason to keep your DD off nursery now (assuming the pox ridden child is kept off that is).

AMumInScotland Tue 20-Sep-11 15:16:27

The sick child shouldn't be there, but I guess your DD will still be in contact with other DC who are in the infectious but not spotty phase, which does increase the chances of her bringing the virus back - viruses can survive outside the body for a long time, so her hands and clothes could potentially harbour them.

TBH I think you'd be best to ask your GP/specialist who understands the risks to your DS, and can maybe give you a better idea how much risk there is of the germs being passed to him, and how bad it would be if that happens.

With a healthy baby, I'd say you just have to get on with things, as there are germs everywhere, but I can see that you need to be more careful than the norm.

iliketeawithachocolatehobnob Tue 20-Sep-11 15:29:47

When dd had chicken pox, I asked this very question because I work with a woman who is pregnant. I was told because I was immune (have been tested) that I could not pass on the virus to anyone, as I wouldn't catch it. But double check with your GP if you are worried,

MamaMia100 Tue 20-Sep-11 19:29:06

Thanks all. Sorry, should have made clearer - child with chicken pox is off but the other kids there may have been exposed so are probably in the incubation period and will therefore be infectious from 2 days before the pox appear, so I wanted to know if DD could transfer the virus to DS without actually catching it (since she has been vaccinated). Eg could the virus be on her clothes etc or is it spread by droplet infection (ie infected person coughing etc). Not sure how it works. Any medics out there? DS's health probs shouldn't make him any more susceptible than any other 5-week old, it's more a case if me not being able to deal with any additional health worries with him!

bumbleymummy Tue 20-Sep-11 21:31:48

Surely the 5 week old would still have immunity from you? Are you bf?

FloweryBoots Tue 20-Sep-11 21:34:18

I'm no medic, and I don't know about if your DD could infect your baby. But if you have had chicken pox (or vaccince) and therfore have the antibodies, if you are able to be breast feeding your DS then he will have a fair bit of immunity from you. As far as I understand, a child at that age being breast fed could still catch chicken pox but beacuse of your antibodies would get it only very very mildly. My sister's DS2 got it at about 4 or 5 months when his older brother had it and as he was still breast fed he had about 5 spots and that was it. Good luck!

MamaMia100 Tue 20-Sep-11 21:34:36

Yes, still breastfeeding, but I think that still only gives partial immunity, no?

MamaMia100 Tue 20-Sep-11 21:39:52

Sorry, cross posts!

That's good to know about bf babies getting it more mildly. I'd still prefer him not to get it at all of course!

Just not clear on whether DD could bring the virus home without actually catching it. Chicken pox is so confusing!

2ddornot2dd Tue 20-Sep-11 21:44:54

I had chicken pox when I gave birth to DD1, so they gave her drugs (imminuglobulins?) to alter the effects of it. She wasn't really ill at the time (but very grouchy, but she was newborn so I didn't know any different) but she did get it again when she was nearly 2, but she only got it mildly then.

If you think your baby has chicken pox go straight to the doctors and ask. It can be very nasty, and it isn't worth taking risks with. (can cause blindness and worse). I really do hope you are all ok though.

bumbleymummy Tue 20-Sep-11 22:10:41

Ok 2d, you're being a bit scaremongery there! I think you might be getting mixed up with shingles too wrt blindness. Chickenpox is usually very mild and the risk of complications is very small. Mamamia if you are worried then chat to your GP. It is good that you are bf and if the virus is brought home your DS will hopefully have it v mildly if at all.

2ddornot2dd Tue 20-Sep-11 22:48:10

I had two doctors stood next to me while I pushed (literally) and coming back the next day to outline the dangers of chickenpox on a tiny baby. Shingles is milder, I think.

I think it is worth knowing that there are drugs that can change the course of chickenpox and make it less traumatic for all concerned. There can be complications, although I agree that they are uncommon. Of course I hope that the OP has a mild case, but I wouldn't want to not go to the doctors with her baby if she thought he was ill.

For the record I breastfed both children, and they both got chicken pox whilst being breastfed, but mildly in both cases.

bumbleymummy Tue 20-Sep-11 23:12:29

2d - I think it's different if you catch cp while pregnant. There is a small risk of foetal varicella syndrome if you contract cp in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and that can potentially cause eye problems - perhaps that is what you are thinking of? Blindness is not mentioned as a complication on the NHS website but I know it can be a complication of shingles if the virus infects your eyes.

I'm sure mamamia will go to the doctor if he does get ill - I think most people would with such a young baby.

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