My little niece has got chickenpox and I've spent most of the weekend with her.

My question is now that I've been exposed should I let my GP or rheumy nurse know? I'm currently taking hydroxychloroquine and sulpursalazine (I've not taken mtx for about a year now). My mum says I had chickenpox when I was young (but only a few spots).

Any advice would be great as I don't want to waste the GP or nurses time if it's not an issue

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13 Replies

  • I would definitely ring your Rheumy helpline, with the meds we are on we are vunerable. You may have to be put on a course of Anti-virals. Please don't hesitate to ring them or your Gp for advice. x

  • Thanks, think I will be ringing them. Better to be safe than sorry

  • Even tho' you're not on MTX, chicken pox as an adult is no joke. So ring your rheumy helpline to see what they say.

  • Thanks, I will call them in the morning, fell rotten already with the RA so don't fancy this on top!

  • Your GP will be able to do a blood test to see if you have anti-bodies.

    It is possible to get chicken pox twice. I had it as an adult & it was awful. :(

  • Thanks, I'll give them a call tomorrow

  • You're at risk of shingles if you have already had chickenpox, so definitely get it checked. M x

  • Thanks, don't fancy shingles, sounds horrible so will be calling them tomorrow

  • You can't catch shingles! :)

    Shingles is when the chickenpox virus which remains dormant in your body is re activated. This usually happens due to stress or being run down. Coming into contact with someone who has chicken pox won't cause this to happen.

    However it would be best to check with your rheumy nurse especially if you're not sure if you have had chickenpox before.

  • From the NHS website

    What causes shingles?

    Most people have chickenpox in childhood, but after the illness has gone, the virus remains dormant (inactive) in the nervous system. The immune system keeps the virus in check, but later in life it can be reactivated and cause shingles.

    It is not known exactly why the shingles virus is reactivated at a later stage in life, but most cases are thought to be caused by having lowered immunity (protection against infections and diseases).

    This may be the result of:

    being older

    being stressed

    taking medication that weakens your immune system

    a condition that affects your immune system, such as HIV or AIDS

    It is not possible to catch shingles from someone with the condition or from someone with chickenpox, but you can catch chickenpox from someone with shingles if you have not had it before.

  • I would check with your rheumy to be on the safe side lee. Though it is unlikely you will get it,but our suppressed immune system there is a liklehood of shingles and though i haven't had them i know of people who have had them and it is very painful. Just get checked.xxxx

  • I thought the dangerous time for being exposed was 10 days before the chickenpox came out ie the spots showed on the skin ?

  • You can't get shingles from exposure to chickenpox

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