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Virus question?

(4 Posts)
batey Thu 02-Jan-03 09:26:22

This may sound a bit dim but can you "catch" a virus in the same way you can an infection (you can can't you?) only I was told recently you can't? In a dilemma re: dds friend who has an on/off virus meant to last for 4 weeks, want her to see her friend but don't want her to get sick before school etc.

GeorginaA Thu 02-Jan-03 09:38:57

I would say ... it depends!

An infection is either a viral infection or a bacterial infection. (Hence why you only get anti-biotics if it's a bacterial infection).

In terms of catching it I think it depends on the virus (or the bacteria? - not sure) and the state of your immune system.

For example, chickenpox (as I've read up so much about this virus recently!) is infectious 2 days before the rash appears and 5 days after. Yet the virus itself is present for about a month (2-3 weeks incubation, 1-2 weeks of rash). If you haven't had chickenpox before there's a 90% chance you'll get it if in close contact with someone else who has it during the infectious period.

Actually, thinking about it the virus stays there permanently - as it can reactivate as shingles later in life. You're not infectious while it's not activated... but someone who has shingles can give chickenpox to someone who hasn't had it yet.

Would probably help if you can tell us which virus is the issue and we might be able to do an internet search to find out more about it.

Hope this helps.

batey Thu 02-Jan-03 09:52:54

Don't know the name of the virus, causes lethargy and temperatures but not all the time.

SofiaAmes Fri 03-Jan-03 01:47:30

I think generally for that type of virus you have to at a minimum exchange bodily fluids (like with glandular fever). I had a whole series of glandular fever like viruses in my early 20's brought on by stress (or so my doctor said). None of them were considered in the least bitr contagious and my husband at the time didn't contract any of them despite the exchanging of bodily fluids (i think it was him causing all the stress). Why don't you talk to the friend's mother or your gp to get a straight story? I remember getting glandular fever when I was a kid and the worst part about it was my mother acting like I had the plague, no letting me touch anything or anyone (an unnecessary precaution).

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