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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.

Dd1 has rubella - anyone know anything?

(25 Posts)
Weegiemum Sun 21-Sep-08 05:43:12

Arse. Dd1 has rubella - despite vaccine. I don't think I had twigged it was only 90% effective. She's 8.

DH diagnosed it (he's a GP, not our GP, but on a Sat lunchtime it was a heck of a lot easier than the crowded OOH centre with pg women there!) but isn't too hot on the practical applications of it!

She's very hot and the rash itches - so Calpol and at bedtime we gave her some piriton which has worked as she was only up once all night.

1) I presume she will have to be off school. I remember having it, was off for 3 days, is this about right?

2) Does the fact she has obviously not responded to this bit of the MMR mean that the others are more likely to get it as well?

3) I know it is really dangerous for pg women, and have already cancelled lunch with a friend who has just announced her pregnancy to which I was going to take dd2, just in case. But how much social avoidance do I really need to do? (friend is foreign, not sure if she has been vaccinated as different language!)

4) Is there anything else I can do for the symptoms or am I doing all I can for her. She's more poorly than I have ever really seen her.


FlightAttendent Sun 21-Sep-08 05:48:39

Oh poor DD - I never thought it was something that made you poorly, are they definite about the Dx?

I think it would be wise to stay out of crowded places for a couple of days. At least it is quicker usually than Chickenpox! smile

I am hesitant to agree with the GP though as I thought the vaccine was generally very effective. Would it be possible to get a second opinion? It would be a viral rash, even something like scarlet fever. I might be totally wrong though.

Hope she feels better this morning.

Weegiemum Sun 21-Sep-08 06:23:43

He actually looked it up and yes, its a 90% effective jag (other parts of the MMR more effective).

I'm not too hesitant to agree with the GP, partly as I am married to him wink and partly as it looks very like the rubella stuff I looked up. And a girl at her school had it just about a fortnight ago, which is the incubation period - we were warned then, but I never gave it another thought as we'd gone for the jag.

It does make you sickie for a day or two - esp with the temperature. She's not that unwell, its just that in 8 years she has never been ill apart from Chickenpox, which didn't really bother her, she only had about 20 spots.

Buda Sun 21-Sep-08 07:06:14

Def keep her away from people. Sorry but my mum came in contact with a child with rubella while she was PG - baby born with lots of deformities and died after 10 hours. I know most people have been vaccinated but as you now know it is only 90% effective. My mum came in contact on a bus with a child that had it.

FlightAttendent Sun 21-Sep-08 07:14:44

Oh Buda how terribly sad for your Mum and of course for you sad

Weegiemum - you may have noticed I was half asleep when I answered your post! blush

I didn't realise it was your DH! In that case I would definitely agree with it. Totally grin

Weegiemum Sun 21-Sep-08 07:55:32

OH Buda that just confirms my instinct to keep her home for a few days. I know one of the teachers at her school is a few months pg. Its inconvenient to have her off school, but worth it to prevent these kind of issues.

Anyone know if the others are less likely to have responded to the vax as their older sister has obv not been made immune?

Buda Sun 21-Sep-08 08:07:16

Thanks FA and Weegiemum. I was 4 at the time and to be honest don't remember any of it. But we still speak of my sister often. My Mum went on to have 3 more healthy girls but still misses the one that died obviously.

The likelihood is that your DD has been contagious already Weegiemum but you would never forgive yourself if anyone caught it from here while PG.

Am afraid I can't tell you about your other DCs. Is there a blood test that can check for immunity like there is for chicken pox?

Beeper Sun 21-Sep-08 11:11:21

I would avoid giving her to much calpol as the fever is the bodys way of clearing out the disease. Also 'piriton' did a doctor say that.

TBH for her to get 'real rubella' will stand her in good stead for the future. She will have life long immunity and will never contract it and pass it on to her children in utero. The MMR does not confer life long immuity and wears off, resulting in women getting infections in thier child bearing years.

Yes you need to keep her in and keep her warm to ward of complications.

Also you cannot live your life in a state of guilt about the fact that you might have inadvertantly infected someone pregnant. Whilst it is very sad you cannot possibly know beforehand that your child has it, all you can do is take the relevant steps once you know.

Also realise that 'vaccines' do not always work, and are often are lot less effecient than you are told.

hope that she gets well soon

Beeper Sun 21-Sep-08 11:12:29

Also do not let them talk you into another MMR. Check first that the other components have worked via a blood test if you are worried.

FlightAttendent Sun 21-Sep-08 13:12:00

Can I hijack for a moment and ask about repeating the MMR please?

Beeper - is there a contra indication for repeating it if the child has alrteady had one of the illnesses?

I ask as ds2 is due his this week but he had suspected measles a few months ago and though the lab results were inconclusive, there was one positive but they said it might have been from my antibodies - I'm not sure if I want him to have the whole lot.


RustyBear Sun 21-Sep-08 13:16:46

I've had the rubella jab 3 times (as a teenager & before getting pregnant both times) because I always test as not immune. I've never had it though, despite all my family & every other child in the school going down with it, so I assume I have some kind of natural immunity that the test doesn't pick up. There was never any suggestion that the jab shouldn't be repeated, but then I was an adult.

FlightAttendent Sun 21-Sep-08 13:19:27

Thanks Rusty. I think I'm going to have him immunity tested if possible and then go from there...if I can get them to agree to this! I would like him to be given the mumps one but have heard that the MMR can cause horrid after effects if the child has already had measles - this might not be correct.

crokky Sun 21-Sep-08 13:31:11

Have only read OP

A simple blood test will determine whether she has immunity against mumps and measles (you'd need to pay privately).

Women in their 20s now are those who would have been done in the first generation of MMR jabs. Therefore if it is 90% effective, you could suppose that 10% of these people are not immune to rubella. Average age to have first baby is about 27? I would be keeping DD at home til this is no longer a risk.

pg women should have been told (from booking bloods) if they are not immune to rubella. But if still in early pg, they might not know.

Beeper Sun 21-Sep-08 14:31:45

No Gp will ever say not to use the MMR only in very rare cases. Its all down to how you feel about it. My experience with the MMR with DS1 caused me never to give him the booster. I would never use it again. The jury is currently out on the single measles jab for me. Anyhow my DS1 contracted measles from the MMR as he had a low immnue system that manifested later on in a immune system disease. Also the MMR only protects against one strain of measles BUT natural immnuity (ie having Measles) is supposed to protect against all strains. I think GPs will happily jab you as many times as you give your arm to them. In a measles outbreak in new zealand they reccomened jabbing again children who had had two doses already. They are now saying that a third is needed and in the US college age students are getting it. (so much for lifetime immnuity)

If you are unsure I would go for blood tests. Its far IMO to have a concrete knowledge than give another jab. As another poster said rubella is notorious for not providing immunity after many jabs. The only surefire way of having lifelong immunity is to contract the disease.

I am not a doctor or medical person just somenone whos life has been affected by vaccines and has spent alot of time reading.

They are also mooting giving the MMR much younger as the 'MMR' generation mothers who have never had measles have no passive immunity to protect via the breastmilk and younger babies are getting it when it is dangerous to have.

Weegiemum Sun 21-Sep-08 15:30:58

I'm not having a blood test - much more traumatic imo than the MMR itself. Can't imagine someone having to get a blood sample that was not for immediate therapeutic use out of my kids (did it for dd2 when they suspected septic arthritis - was a nightmare - they had to sedate her to get the blood out of her!)

Am more worried that my 2 other kids might also get it.

Beeper - The piriton - came from my dh, who is a GP, so yes, a doctor did say that! Need to keep her temp down as she has had febrile convulsions in the past. I think it is dangerous here to say that a temp is a way to clear the infection as dd1 and ds were both hospitalised with FC as toddlers. How can you say not to give calpoll and to keep her warm? Not sure what you are saying here as those are both against all advice for children with a fever?

Also, beeper, if the immune response from the vaccine wore off, would not CRS be much more common than it is, and would it have fallen as much as it did after immunisation od girls was introduced? Not sure what point you are trying to make here - sounds a bit like a chance to make an anti MMR/vax point which is not what I am looking for with a sick dd.

I wouldn't repeat the vax, but would still have it now if a child of mine had already had one of the illnesses. If they are immune, what harm would it do?

Pushpinia Sun 21-Sep-08 15:39:40

Weegiemum I am sorry, this is my fault, I asked Beeper's opinion on something not quite related and I think she is replying to me. Sorry for the hijack. blush

Beeper thankyou. I appreciate your view and experience and will investigate our options.

Pushpinia Sun 21-Sep-08 15:40:09

Am FA btw smile

Weegiemum Sun 21-Sep-08 15:48:36

Its ok, pushpinia

Am just amazed at people who say 'get a blood test'. If you have ever held your child while some junior doc tries to take a blood sample, you would realise it is not that simple. Dd2 was in serious pain in her hip when they tried to take her blood, and in the end she had to be given rectal diazepam and waited until she was almost asleep to take her blood - it is not a non-invasive procedure for most children!!! Personally, another quick jab is far more preferable, but then I am pretty pro vaccinations, which beeper is obv not.

I don't want this to turn into a pro/ant vax thread. It is about my dd1 and what I can do to help her. And how I can stop other people getting it. I'm trying not to be cross that she got it from an otherwise healthy unvaccinated child whose mum 'didn't fancy' giving it to her daughter. And seriously, I am quoting.

whomovedmychocolate Sun 21-Sep-08 16:18:21

Weegiemum - I'm fairly pro-vax, however my daughter is currently suffering MMR side effects included two days of constant screaming - she's not talking yet so I can only assume she's in pain, and a wicked rash which is clearly really itchy and sore hmm So I feel your pain (and your poor daughters!

But I can tell you about the blood tests because my kids both take part in vaccine trials (this isn't one of them btw, she missed her MMR at the proper time because she was sick and is playing catch-up.) They've been tested for immunity to everything they were vaccinated against and with trained specialist doctors who only do vaccine research doing the jabs she still only has a 70ish% success rate in terms of immunity. hmm

They do provide anaesthetic cream btw for blood tests in children so it doesn't hurt if you ask them, particularly if you've had bad experiences in the past (but it needs applying half an hour before so you generally get it to use at home before you go.

MMR is now routinely given as a booster to pregnant women who are known to have contacted any of the disease covered by it and so lots of people get doubled up doses. Whether that's good or bad? Not my area, but I'd be nervous about DD having the booster given this reaction.

I had rubella when I was a kid, it's really nasty. May I suggest you go to Blockbuster/similar and get her lots of nice DVDs and stay home with her for a few days. NB the other kids will have been exposed way before she showed signs so you are pretty much doomed on that front too - sorry

Weegiemum Sun 21-Sep-08 16:46:51

If my kids were part of a trial so that the doc did it on a daily basis I woudl have no bother with blood tests.

However, most kids don't get that courtesy, IME. My dd's blood was taken by an SHO with a couple of month paeds experience. She was screeching as she already had a sore hip (we now know it was a degenerative hip condition, but at the time they had to rule out septic arthritis as she also had a cold and a temp).

Most kids who get blood taken in casualty or in hospital get someone like this. My dh is a GP and he NEVER takes kids blood as he knows he can't do it right - he refers to a paed, and hopes the paediatric phlebotomist will do it. But many doctors in hospital paeds are there as part of a rotation towards GP and so want to "practice" taking blood. Not on my kids!

Pushpinia Sun 21-Sep-08 16:57:23

I'm glad you said that...will be careful if we do get it done.

Weegie, your poor dd, how miserable for her and frankly how unlucky.

In answer to your questions (and pointedly ignoring the anti/pro vax potential mare of a debate) I would say yes she does have to be off school the period of communicability is one week before and 4 days after the onset of rash, plus she probably won't feel like going to school?

I can't say conclusively that your other dc are likely to get it/not get it. It would depend on whether they were vaccinated at the same time, with the same batch, and how their immune system responds and whether they are exposed to it. She is likely now to have lifelong immunity so I would think that if she has another booster the rubella part of it won't affect her at all. It could well be that in the batch she was immunised with there was a fault in the storage process, ie not stored at the right temperature etc or it could just be that she is one of the unlucky ones that fell into the 10% failure rate. No vaccine is 100% effective.

Certainly don't feel bad that your dd may have exposed others to Rubella, but you do need to tell the school and if the pregnant teacher has been in contact with your dd and is in her first trimester then she should check that she has immunity.

Fwiw, I am totally with you on the taking blood front. I subjected dd to this when we thought she had malaria and it was more traumatic than anything else I have ever had to do.

Beeper Sun 21-Sep-08 17:31:52

My son DS1 also had convulsions pre the MMR and once upon a time that was a contradiction to having it. I have done alot of reading around using fever suppressants and there are many doctors now that do not avocate using them. Many doctors reccomnend 'chilling' a person with a fever but this can lead to compilcations.

My DS1 was given the MMR and was ill for 10 weeks. Firstly he had a meales rash and a temp. Then he was given pennacillen for a viral disease, when docs know full well that you only give it for bacterial, then he reacted to the penacillen. Then for the next 6 weeks when the docs had said "there nothing more we can do" it was suggested that I take him to a homeopath (by a GP), who was at his witts ends with us, so we took him and he was given a anti dote to the MMR. The homeopath (who was also a qualified GP) told us NOT under and circumstances to give him calpol, his temperature went up to over a hundred for most of the night, we kept phoning her panicking she told us to just keep and eye on him. Then he woke up the next day completely well and a happy contented little boy, so differnt from the sickly whinging child I had had since his first jabs.

Beeper Sun 21-Sep-08 17:51:07

OP bit bemused about the whole thing if you husbands a GP. If my husband was a GP would not do mumsnet lol. You ask my opinion and if I know anything and then berate me for giving my opinion.....see ya.

Weegiemum Sun 21-Sep-08 19:33:23

Why bemused. GPs don't know everything! He sees it very rarely due to the fact that most kids are vaccinated these days. I was looking for some practical suggestions about how we cope with it, not a criticism of what I had already done!

This take on fever management is still quite unorthodox. Most medics recommend fever reduction, and having seen my kids convulse, I will keep on doing so.

I'm sorry for what happened to your dc. But I don't think you can generalise about the whole population from that.

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