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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.

Why does my DS never get chickenpox?

(29 Posts)
hobbgoblin Fri 18-Jun-10 10:50:21

DD and DS1 have both had it. DS2 has been exposed to it many, many times but still has not contracted. CP. Whilst I would not send him to a CP party or anything like that, I really wish that he'd had it over and done with by now. He is 6 and a girl in his class and her sister who are our neighbours have both just had it and been in school whilst contagious in a close up and cuddly Reception/Y1 class.

I recall my father getting CP when I did aged about 7 and he was VERY ill. It is my understanding that as an adult it can be pretty bad and so it would, I presume, be A Good Thing for him to get it in childhoood, yes?

KnottyLocks Fri 18-Jun-10 11:12:21

My brother had CP when we were children and despite this, and being exposed to it many other times, I never had spots and the usual symptoms associated with CP.

However, when I was pregnant I came into contact with CP through my job and had to be sent home (very disppointing grin) due to the risk to the baby. I had a blood test which established that I had CP antibodies.

Now, this could be because I developed immunity through exposure or that I had had a very mild case as a child. Apparently, not all cases are full-blown and can be so mild as to have very few symptoms.

My DS1 was exposed to CP on many different occasions before actually getting it. You are right that CP in adults is far nastier, so in many ways hoping that he gets it soon is very natural.

Not sure if that's any help at all!

snorkie Fri 18-Jun-10 11:12:49

Is it possible that he's had it very mildly and you didn't notice? Dd had it at 11 months and only had 2 spots (one was down her ear & gave her bad ear ache, so we took her to the doctor & he found the other one). Or maybe he's somehow got a little bit more inherited immunity than most?

My cousin didn't catch it for years as a child in spite of lots of very definite exposures (including sitting next to a child with cp on a long car journey). She did eventually get it as a teenager. It's a funny illness, yes it is usually worse as an adult (& more risk of complications) but there's not really much you can do if your ds doesn't get it younger.

geraldinetheluckygoat Fri 18-Jun-10 11:18:01

he can have mine if he likes! I am typing to you from my bed with CP....
I have had loads of exposures to it as a kid (bathed with my sis who had it) and an adult as a childminder and have only now finally got it. FWIW though I feel ill, im not feeling dreadful, i dont have that many spots (yet) they are mostly on my head and are painful but not unbearable. Plus, on the bright side, my dh has had to take the day off to look after ds's and do school run and though Im ill, it is WONDERFUL to legitimately spend the whole day in bed mntting! grin
<<desperately hoping for mild case emotion>>

DS was exposed all the time at nursery. His best friends (they were all over each other all the time) had it one after the other and there were several outbreaks.

He waited until he was five and at school to get it from what must have been a very casual passing encounter (we didn't know anyone else with chicken pox and there were no other cases in his class or even his year).

So the pox can be a funny old thing. There's every chance he'll get it at some point in the next few years. If not, you could consider getting him vaccinated privately when he gets to secondary school age to avoid his catching it as an older teenager/adult?

RiverOfSleep Fri 18-Jun-10 11:30:31

Maybe hes had it very mildly. My friend brought her DC round when my then preschoolers had CP as she wanted him to get it out of the way. They spent about 5 minutes licking him (yes really!) and he duly caught it from them. I think if your child is in good health it is sometimes a good idea to 'make' them catch it and get it over and done with.

It is nice to know mine won't have their school life/exams disrupted due to CP. Also there are a fair few children with health problems at school that DC go to, and I am glad to know that my DC won't ever expose them to CP unknowingly.

geraldinetheluckygoat Fri 18-Jun-10 11:37:00

LOL @ "they spent about five minutes licking him!"!!!!!!

hobbgoblin Fri 18-Jun-10 11:53:59

This is all very interesting. Do any of you know if it is possible to get DS tested for antibodies - perhaps around the time when he is about to leave Priamry school?

DD2 has yet to have it but she is only 11 months, so was a little fearful if DS2 did get it this week that she was quite young to have it.

Anyway, I guess if DD2 gets it over the next few years then he stands the best chance of getting it then as he has to live with her. If he doesn't then it maybe points even more to the possibility that he has either had it mildly or has resistance or something.

All quite mysterious.

You certainly can be tested for antibodies (they do this routinely for pregnant women who haven't (so far as they know) had it and who have been exposed)) but I'm not sure where you could get it done as I suspect you'd need to go private unless DS2 has some underlying health condition that would make chicken pox particularly dangerous. If you can find somewhere that will do a private vaccination they will probably also be able to order an antibody test as well.

blondiep14 Sat 19-Jun-10 08:30:58

DS2 (5m) has just come out in chicken pox but DS1 (2.4) seems to be blemish free.
I thought because I have had CP and am feeding DS2 that he would be immune? Obviously that hasn't worked, I do hope DS1 gets it soon.

snorkie Sat 19-Jun-10 08:58:47

I was told the inherited immunity lasts until a baby is around 12 months and feeding method doesn't make a huge difference. But you would expect some variation in that - ie it would wear off quicker in some than others. 5months does seem young though - hope he's not too poorly & gets better quickly.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 19-Jun-10 08:59:57

dd is the same. 10 now and never had the pox despite having been exposed on several occasions. My plan is to suggest that she has a blood test when she is in her mid teens and if not immune I'll pay for a jab.

HurleySatOnMe Sat 19-Jun-10 09:04:16

I'd be surprised if he doesn't have immunity. I've been exposed twice in my life, when I was a baby and my older brothers had it and when I was about 13 and my younger brother and sister had it. My mum is adament I never had it, and dd got it when I was pg, cue lots of panic. Midwife simply tested for immunity, which thank goodness was there. I think it's possible to have such a mild case it goes unnoticed

thumbwitch Sat 19-Jun-10 09:17:18

I never had chicken pox properly - my bro and sis both had it quite badly and I maybe had 1 or 2 spots but wasn't ill with it at all. I haven't been tested for antibodies but you can bet your life I have them.

AlCrowley Sat 19-Jun-10 09:28:12

I had a twice as a child so when I came into contact with it again at 10 weeks pregnant with DD, I had the antibodies test to see if I was likely to catch it again!

DH has never had it so when DS was little and coming into contact with it often, we paid £70-odd for DH to have the CP jab which should protect him.

DS has still never had it despite coming into contact with lots of cases - even playing with one little girl who had it. He must have his Dad's natural immunity!!

elvislives Sat 19-Jun-10 09:42:27

DD1 was exposed to CP many many times all through her childhood but never caught it. She got it at 13 and was very very ill

Seona1973 Sat 19-Jun-10 09:48:13

my ds had chicken pox at 5 1/2 months and went on to have shingles at the age of 3 - poor sod! (especially as it was mis-diagnosed as eczema by the first doctor and he was prescribed steroid cream that I was rubbing into his shingles blisters!!) It is apparently more common to get childhood shingles if they get chicken pox under the age of 1.

NorbertDentressangle Sat 19-Jun-10 09:50:34

As a child in the 1970s I was exposed to chicken pox all the time as it seemed the norm to put infected children together to get it out of the way. However I never caught it then.

Fast forward to when I was 18/19yrs old and nannying for the summer before starting college and lo and behold I caught it off one of the children I was looking after.

No idea why I hadn't caught it earlier

Cyclops Sat 19-Jun-10 09:56:00

I haven't had it either despite two close encounters: my ever-so-slighty older brother had it when we were babies but I didn't catch it and neither did I catch it as a late teenager whilst sharing a tent all weekend at a rock concert with a friend...I have met lots of similarly pox-free folk in life so it's not that rare.

Cyclops Sat 19-Jun-10 09:56:58

should add that my friend in the tent did have chicken pox during our tent-sharing experience!

zoelikesjam Mon 21-Jun-10 10:36:37

Hi! New here, so please don't shout if i'm wrong!

My understanding of chicken pox under one isn't just a risk of shingles at a later stage. When the child is under one they are supposed to have a natural immunity from us mums, however this doesn't always work/we might not have the immunity.
My eldest has had it once, when she was 2, she had it so bad she had to go into hospital with it, spots in her eyes, mouth, nose, bits, inbetween her toes and fingers. Poor little thing was so ill. My son had it when he was 7months(caught from his sister!) and it was general covered in spots CP. He caught it again when he was 30months, but only had 7 spots. He had CP again last year at the age of 3. The third time it was again text book CP.
My little babe is nearly two and hasn't had it. Despite having a lowered immune system(premmi)and being exposed to the pox lots of times, neighbours, a bout going round nursery and spending time with her brother.

It is a funny thing!

bruffin Mon 21-Jun-10 10:43:52

My sister has never had chicken pox. My sister and i had it before she was born, but both her children had it and she was a special needs assistant in primary schools for 10 years, so had close encounter with children on a daily basis and still never got it.

CaptainNancy Wed 23-Jun-10 15:47:08

I have never had CP, despite all my siblings having it, and regular exposure.
My DC have never had CP either- again with a lot of exposure (seems to go round their nursery every 2 mo).
I think some people just cannot get it.

Lizzyx1990x Tue 21-Jul-15 16:51:21

Can a child catch chicken pox from sitting in the car 3 weeks after a child who has had chicken pox

Gunpowder Tue 21-Jul-15 16:58:43

I think the rule of thumb is you can catch it through face to face contact with an infected person, Lizzy, or by being in the same room as an infected person for 15mins. I wouldn't have thought the virus could last that long.

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