Behcet's Syndrome Society
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Chickenpox

Hi all Just need some advice. So I was told to keep away from chickenpox and shingles as it can be quite serious for people who has behçet's, has anyone else been told this? I do work placement in a nursery and today I was sent home as they have 3 children with chickenpox. How do we safeguard ourself? How long should I keep away. But more importantly my son goes to the same nursery I do placement at. Should I take him out for the duration of the chickenpox period? Or do I leave him there. He does not have behçet's but I'm worried he will carry the virus home and passes it to myself and my daughter who is also been investigated for behcet's. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

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Chickenpox can be dangerous to the immunosupressed, it's the medications we take for Behcets that puts us at risk, not the underlying disease.

You can't catch shingles from someone with shingles or chickenpox ( a popular misconception! ) When we get chickenpox the virus lives on in the nerve root and sometimes re activates itself as shingles.

If you are on immunosupressants then it's reasonable to ask for your chickenpox antibodies to be checked to make sure you have immunity, if you don't then you will need to take advice on how to protect yourself.

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Thank you Keynes, now that makes more sense to me. I am on azathioprine which is for immunosupressed medication. So my concern still is, should I carry on sending my son to nursery where there has been 3 cases of chickenpox breakout in the last week.

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Have you had chickenpox in the past?

The concern is you, not your son. You need to get your chickenpox antibodies checked to see if you are immune. Bear in mind that chickenpox is very contagious before the spots appear, it's also very common so it's impossible to keep your son from coming into contact with it.

If you are immune then you probably don't need to be off work.

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I do believe I had chickenpox, I know I had the shingles a few years back. So I gess I need to have a blood test? To check my chickenpox antibodies? Thank you you have been so helpful.

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This is the link to the Chickenpox section of the green book which is the vaccination bible! Page 9 onwards talks about Chickenpox in the immunosupressed.

gov.uk/government/uploads/s...

My understanding of what it says is that you need your antibodies checked. The most likely outcome is that you are immune but better to be safe.

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Thank you so much

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You can catch chickenpox or shingles from someone with an active case. Should look into the vaccine.

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You can't " catch " shingles from someone with shingles. Theoretically if someone came into contact with the fluid from a shingles vesicle and it breached the skin then you could get chickenpox but in practice it doesn't happen.

The shingles vaccine is live and is contraindicated in the immunosupressed.

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That was scary to read.

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Hope you have all the information you need to make the decision now. Pleased we got a super fast email back from a Prof specialising in Behcet's :-) Good luck.

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Yes, thank you. I was so impressed with how super quick that was. And so helpful and informative. Please do send my appreciation. Amazing

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