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exposure to chicken pox, risks?

(14 Posts)
Undertheboredwalk Thu 10-Dec-15 12:44:02

I'm 19 weeks pregnant and friends little ones have chicken pox, I was planning on visiting/lending a hand as they're having a horrid time of it but just occurred to me that I need to think about the possible risks.

I had chicken pox as a child, and all 3 of mine have had it without me catching it so I'm almost certainly immune? I don't want to take unnecessary risks obviously but I can't decide whether there's really a risk here at all?

Any advice?

CarShare Thu 10-Dec-15 12:51:34

Incredibly likely that you are immune as you say but I'm so risk averse that I probably wouldn't go myself.

If your friends little ones are well on the road to recovery and the last spot has scabbed over then it's much less likely that they'd be infectious.

I might be tempted to leave it a week and then help her out as I'm sure she'll still be knackered and the (minimal) risk to you would be far reduced.

DinoSnores Thu 10-Dec-15 12:54:10

The NHS advice:

www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1109.aspx?CategoryID=54#close

originalusernamefail Thu 10-Dec-15 12:55:02

I developed shingles during pg with my first son. V.uncomfortable but doctors never concerned for baby. Once you have had chickenpox the virus remains dormant in your body (spinal fluid iirc) for life.

Undertheboredwalk Thu 10-Dec-15 12:59:43

Thanks all, NHS page on contact with CP whilst pregnant (thanks for link, I couldn't find anything!) says "If you've had chickenpox yourself, there's no need to worry about contact with it when you're pregnant." So I think I'm going to go with that and not worry about it smile

Thanks!

CarrotPuff Thu 10-Dec-15 13:00:04

My sister got CP as an adult despite having it as a child. I wouldn't risk it.

Undertheboredwalk Thu 10-Dec-15 13:09:36

Hmmm that's the thing that niggled me carrot, is there a chance I'm not immune even though I've had it? but I have been exposed to it over the years many times, in particular 3times in close quarters for the duration with my own children. Surely if I didn't have immunity I would have caught it then?
I don't know, maybe I should just stay away for now. I'd hate to leave her struggling if there's really no need for me to stay away though.

HeadDreamer Thu 10-Dec-15 13:13:53

I don't think you'll not be immune given you've had contact with it with your three children.

I took DD2 for the chicken pox vaccine. You can google the studies of the immunity in Japanese vs US populations. The believe is that contact with chicken pox 'renews' the immunity. In Japan, where there are still a lot of natural chicken pox, they found people immunised are still immune after 20-30 years. However, in the US, where all the children are immunised, they have to have boosters.

And also the believe is that real natural chicken pox gives you immunity for live. (I wonder how much of this is down to re-exposure as people with natural chicken pox tends to live in countries where the vaccine is not widespread).

What I'm trying to say is you are most likely to be immune, given you've had chicken pox, and you've had 3 children who's had it.

Undertheboredwalk Thu 10-Dec-15 13:19:36

Thanks Hand, that is reassuring. I think I'm going to offer a hand and go if she needs me.

Thank for all the advice.

Undertheboredwalk Thu 10-Dec-15 13:20:15

Head not hand. Bloody phone!

AKP79 Thu 10-Dec-15 13:38:14

Just jumping onto this thread, but I've got a 3 year old son who hasn't had chicken pox... it's possible that he will do when it next does the rounds and that could happen while I am pregnant. I've had chicken pox myself, but what do you do in this situation? I'm obviously not going to move out and leave my son and husband to deal with it, and if he does get it he's going to want his mummy... obviously hasn't happened yet, but OP has made me think what if?!

DinoSnores Thu 10-Dec-15 13:41:18

AKP79, I've linked to the NHS advice above. The risk even if you haven't had chicken pox is really very small.

HeadDreamer Thu 10-Dec-15 13:46:16

AKP79 really really don't worry. See the linked article posted by DinoSores
www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2587.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=137

You won't be the only pregnant woman with a child at risk of chicken pox. Most of the UK is immune because of having it as a child. The biggest risk you will have is sleep deprivation grin

AKP79 Thu 10-Dec-15 14:08:50

Thanks HeadDreamer, I hadn't even considered it until seeing this thread! I'm a good worrier though! smile

Tell me about it with the sleep, he's had a week long virus and with deprivation from that coupled with first trimester fatigue I feel and look like the walking dead - can barely remember my name!x

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