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DS has chickenpox, I've never had it – bad news?

(25 Posts)
kneedeepinthedirtylaundry Sun 12-Jun-11 14:39:40

Should I be keeping my distance? Is it bad if grown ups get chicken pox? Is shingles a problem? Anyone know?

chocolatchaud Sun 12-Jun-11 14:43:16

I think it's a problem if you are pregnant, so I'd go to GP if you are. I wouldn't be surprised if you were naturally immune anyway, if you have got to adulthood without catching it.

Otherwise, I think you have to have had chicken pox first to get shingles, as the virus has to be in your body. (Not at all medical though!)

Seona1973 Sun 12-Jun-11 15:04:33

there is no point in keeping your distance as he would have been contagious for a couple of days before the spots came out so you have been exposed already. CP can be worse in adults but you may be immune without knowing it so you may not get it at all. You can only get shingles if you have had chicken pox in the past and it is not brought on by contact with chicken pox. You can get chicken pox from shingles but not the other way round.

kneedeepinthedirtylaundry Sun 12-Jun-11 15:09:43

Thanks for your responses. It's impractical to keep my distance anyway, so fingers crossed I don't get it.

catx2 Sun 12-Jun-11 15:32:02

My husband caught it from our children and he really suffered with it (not just like man flu even the GP was concerned).
He was given some medication (an anti virus drug I think) so that it wouldn't go on to the chest.
If you do catch it it could be worth speaking to your GP.

exexpat Sun 12-Jun-11 15:39:18

I had it as an adult and it was horrible - I was really ill for two weeks. You're too late to avoid exposure now, but I would second the suggestion to contact the GP for anti-virals if you do show signs in a week or two - you can't avoid getting it, but they might lessen the symptoms a little.

Shingles tends to come years after getting chickenpox, and I don't think is triggered by exposure or re-exposure.

kneedeepinthedirtylaundry Sun 12-Jun-11 16:07:25


I seriously hope i don't get it as I have a ton of work on and won't be able to get deadlines extended sad...

Nothing I can do about it now, though. Thanks for advice on antivirals. If I show signs of it over the next week or so, I'll get myself to the GP asap. Hopefully, it won't be as bad as expat or catx2's husband. I winge like a man when I'm ill!

Seona1973 Sun 12-Jun-11 16:11:34

the incubation period is 10-21 days so you have up to 3 weeks to wait to see if you get symptoms. fingers crossed for you!

WowOoo Sun 12-Jun-11 16:13:43

I had never had it but had mild immunity from my brother and sister having it as children.

My kids got it and I got it badly am sorry to say. (You won't want to know the details) Fingers crossed for you that you don't.
perhaps get some anti virals for as soon as you see first spots. Soon!

LadyPeterWimsey Sun 12-Jun-11 16:15:16

DS got it when I was pregnant and neither DH or I had ever had it. Dr tested me for antibodies and test came back positive. Apparently about 70% of people who have not had it have been exposed enough to have the antibodies, so that chances are on your side that you will be alright.

All four DC have had chicken pox now, and DH and I figure we must be immune!

AlmightyCitrus Sun 12-Jun-11 16:36:29

I finally got chickenpox at 36. (Thanks kids)
It was itchy. That's it. No headaches, illness or anything.

Luck of the draw I suppose. Like anything, some people suffer more than others, but you don't know until it happens.

Try not to scratch though!

kneedeepinthedirtylaundry Sun 12-Jun-11 19:45:31

WowOoo, poor them, and poor you!

Yes, luck of the draw. I really can't afford to be ill right now. Freelance = no sick days. (Freelance + no sick days + ill kid + full workload = hell. Please don't add adult onset chicken pox to that equasion!)

First saw a spot on Thursday evening or Friday morning, and last night, DH found another. After that, they came out very quickly and he's now covered in them. So far, they're itchy but he's managed to resist scratching.

I'll be down the GPs office asap the first sign of a spot. Incubation period being so long, I'll be keeping an eye out for ages. Hopefully, I'll be one of the 70% that LadyPeter mentions.

roguepixie Sun 12-Jun-11 19:50:41

I had it when I was 32! In my efforts to make sure DS got it young I exposed him to various pox-y children grin. I didn't give a thought to the fact that I had no recollection of having it ... and neither did my DMum hmm. Cue me getting it and my DS not! He did get it a few months later but my bout was truly horrendous - spots everywhere, even in places I didn't know you could get spots. Sadly, if your DC get it and you haven't had it there is little you can do. Given the truly infectious period is before the spots come out you will have been exposed before you even knew it!

Good luck.

HavePatience Sun 12-Jun-11 19:53:34

sad I hope you don't get it. I had it as a baby and then got it again in my twenties. It was really horrible.
DS got it at around 1 and a half and it was surprisingly awful then, too. In the ears, nose, mouth as well as everywhere else. Everyone says, "oh chickenpox, no big deal, everyone gets it" but it's really not easy to deal with at all.
Piriton was the only thing that really calmed the itching for him. I was lucky that it also made him sleep more easily. And a bath with baking soda. The oatmeal thing was just a mess and didn't help. Loads of baking soda in the bath and piriton. We didn't even have to use calamine much with those two things. And calpol when his fever got past 40.
Fingers crossed it's all over quickly for you and that you don't get it.

ThisisaSignofthetimes Sun 12-Jun-11 19:57:45

Think it is luck of the draw. I thought I had already had it so wasn't worried when DD caught it. I did catch it though and ended up in hospital for 3 days being pumped full of anti virals, the chicken pox was speading down my throat and they were worried I'd end up with pneumonia.

pooka Sun 12-Jun-11 20:02:09

If you do get it, and go o the gp, do let the staff know you are infectious so they can keep you away from other patients or home visit instead.

Fingers crossed you don't though. smile

EustaciaVye Sun 12-Jun-11 21:31:56

I had it as an adult and ended up having a month off work sad I didnt take antivirals as I knew nothing about them.

Make sure you get antivirals from the GP asap after you see the 1st spot if you get it.

kneedeepinthedirtylaundry Sun 12-Jun-11 22:12:04

Good advice from everyone – thank you all, and I'll keep in mind the tip about piriton and baking soda in the bath for DS, who is getting more and more spots and is really poorly with it just now.

pooka Sun 12-Jun-11 22:14:59

I always say this, but you can't beat a good porridge oat bath for chicken pox. Big scoop of oats in muslin square, tied off with an elastic band. Chuck in bath under the taps as it's running. Let it steep. Then squeeze the lovely gunk onto skin. Very soothing and moisturising.

Calamine aqueous cream NOT calamine lotion. Also more soothing.And if you get as an adult, lanacaine medicated talcum powder is very cooling.

HavePatience Sun 12-Jun-11 22:31:59

Piriton even says it can be used for cp on the bottle. That was gold for us smile

Pooka- I found the oat thing so messy. But never thought of a muslin square.

Lizzabadger Sun 12-Jun-11 22:40:31

I had it a couple of years ago and it was dire. I felt like my internal organs were being steamrollered.
My sister got vaccinated against it (after being exposed to me) and started on a course of antivirals (this was in the US) and got it much more mildly.
Do try not to knock the scabs off your face if you get it. I ended up paying hundreds for laser scar removal but am still pretty pock-marked.

pooka Mon 13-Jun-11 10:43:47

Oh the muslin/cloth essential! grin

Cant imagine the mess otherwise....

moonbells Mon 13-Jun-11 10:50:52

I got it as an adult too. Horrible. Felt terrible for days beforehand, then finally came out in spots.

Still have loads of scars.

I paid for DS to get the jab, mostly for practical reasons - I had no annual leave left after he was ill with just about everything else in his first 2 years! It was way cheaper to pay than have to take a couple of weeks unpaid leave.

easycomeeasygo Sat 18-Jun-11 23:19:09

I'd never had it as a child either but my 3 children had chicken pox at the same time that was including my 7 month old son, and then I caught it from then, I was 27, it was no fun at all, I didnt feel i'll as such, just very very itchy.

Anyway I posted on here because my 4th has got chicken pox now, he is 4, but its the most pathetic case i've seen! hes got a few spots on his tummy, 6 on his shoulder and one on his ankle, also he's his usual self! I second the bi carb in the bath. Anyway I hope your ok and still clear.

diddl Sun 19-Jun-11 10:24:30

I had it as a child, both mine had it but husband never caught it from either of them.

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