Asthma UK community forum

Immunosuppressed and chicken pox??


Maddie (4yrs) has had chicken pox before when she was 2.

She has been on maintenance pred dose for 2 yrs now and is immunosuppressed. She has Adrenal insufficiency too..

We are travelling to see my family on fri. However my nephew has now got chicken pox. I know maddie shouldn't be able to catch it as has had it before. I also know that if she hadnt had it already, the risk of CP can be incredibly dangerous for her and possibly life threatening.

Anyway, in my eyes she will be ok as has had it and so not at risk. My husband however thinks we should avoid going as she may catch it again and therefore be in danger??

I'm confused!! I thought you could only catch CP once?? She had a test and is immune to CP so does that mean she is at no risk at all anymore??

Does anyone know if she is in danger?? Surely she is in contact with CP lots in the big wide world anyway?? Or am I being too naive and wishing for normality??

3 Replies

A small percentage of people can get it more than once, if they didnt develop immunity.

If she has had a specific test and has shown to have immunity, then I would have thought she would be okay. (see under blood tests).

What does your GP say?


I had to ask about this when my nephew came down with CP (the day after I saw him so already too late!). I had to be VERY alert to any signs of illness and get urgent medical help had I become ill at all. Personally, I wouldn't risk it for myself and certainly not for a young child - remember contact with CP can result in shingles if you already have the virus, and even without immunosupression thats believed to be one of the most painful illnesses you can get. I'd really advise you to delay the visit if you possibly can.


remember contact with CP can result in shingles if you already have the virus, .

Just wanted to clarify that this isn't true, contact with CP only has the potential to cause CP in someone who is not immune I.e, someone who hasn't had it before or a rare few who have had it before but did not get immunity. Shingles is a result of the dormant CP virus hanging about in your spinal fluid, it can occur at any point usually at times of stress or illness, but not related to further contact with CP. Not all people who have experience CP will have it dormant in their bodies, the reason for this is unknown. (This information was given to me only today, wierd huh, by an infection control nurse during my training at work - I work in a hospital,)

Given your daughter is immunosuppressed, any previous immunity is non existent therefore she is at risk of contracting the illness, and because of the immunosuppression, she could suffer more than the usual 'well' person. My mum and sister are both immunocompromised, and had to stay away from us while my kids both had CP, they were told by their doctors to contact them if they ever came into contact with CP.

It is also worth mentioning that the CP carrying person is no longer contagious when the last scab has crusted, so your nephew may no longer be a risk. HOWEVER another family member may have contracted it and be contagious as you are contagious before the spots appear.

All in all, I wouldn't risk it! But I'm not a doctor,your GP would be best person to comment as they are aware of your daughters full medical background.


You may also like...