Chickenpox: I’m a nanny and at work today I had three... - NRAS

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Chickenpox

I’m a nanny and at work today I had three of the children off with chickenpox. I’ve never really given it much thought, I’ve taken care of children with chickenpox before. But should I be concerned? Am I likely to catch it? I had it as a child so I’m assuming I’m immune but googling hasn’t set my mind at ease! Any advice??

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You can get chickenpox twice if you never built up antibodies to it. A bit late now, but for the future it might be worth asking your GP if you can be tested to see if you have the antibodies.

Depending on the drugs you are on it might be worth contacting your GP just in case. Are you on biologics? And certainly if you have any symptoms at all head straight to your GP to get treated to damp down the symptoms.

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I take sulfasazine and a low dose of methotrexate. I’ll give them a call on Monday. It just never occurred to me that it could be a problem

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Then you should be fine, as only very small effect. It's more if you're on a high dose of MTX and a biologic that your risks increase.

But discuss with GP anyway.

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Im ORDERED to keep clear of children with it... Shingles. We are nore prone to it and its horrid .

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No one has ever said anything to me which I’m surprised about as my consultant knows I’m a nanny and kids are bound to get it at some point

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You can not catch shingles! You only get shingles if the dormant virus which remains in your body after having chicken pox becomes reactivated. nhsinform.scot/illnesses-an...

However, in a few people it is possible to get Chicken pox twice if the body didn’t make adequate anti-bodies the first time.

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I’m more concerned about getting CP again and it being more complicated as I’m an adult

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I’m a teacher and have been teaching for 14 years and have been in contact with lots of children with chicken pox. In fact I have 7 off this week with them. I had it as a child and I haven’t caught it again. I’ve been on RA medication for my entire career (and training). You should be ok but just look out for symptoms and tell your GP or rheumatologist.

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This is what I’m thinking. There must be hundreds of immunosuppressive people working with young children, you can avoid CP forever

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I used to teach early years and was advised by my Rheumatologist it was very unlikely I’d get it again as I had it a child but just to be observant and if any symptoms appeared go straight to GP. My son also had it a couple of years ago (definitely couldn’t avoid him!!) and all was fine.

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If you are taking Methotrexate and a biologic, such as etanercept, then beware.

I am in that situation and was given a shingles vaccination at the beginning of February.

It gave me chicken pox! Fortunately mildly, but I had to stop the RA treatment and take two courses of antivirals to clear it up. I am about to resume my Methotrexate this week after 5 weeks off it and then resume the etanercept injection the following week.

I am very relieved that the RA hasn't caught up with me yet and I'm hopeful that it won't.

The methotrexate and biologics has been so successful with getting me pretty well free of pain for the last six months.

Ironically, I had deliberately avoided contact with our granddaughters earlier when they both had chicken pox!

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I don’t take a biologic. It’s so hard to know what to do. I mean if it was my son who had CP I couldn’t really avoid him. Likewise a teacher or anyone working with young children

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Just get on with your life. There is nothing one can do to prevent catching viruses.

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That's rather unhelpful to people who are worried. Of course you can do things to help prevent transmissiom of pox virus. You make sure any open, weeping pustules are lightly covered, you wash your hand frequently, you see if someone else could bathe your child for the most active days - those sorts of things.

And yes if you've had it once most people would only ever get it again mildly. However if you are on biologics it can be serious.

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Those things are basic hygiene and not prevent you from catching the virus again. I know it's serious if your immune system is compromised and it's just as serious for any adult who catches it.

Obviously the best thing is no contact with anyone affected however you can pick it up anywhere. It's a virus!

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To me the main point of basic hygiene to reduce the risk of being infected by bacteria & viruses......virus aren't transmitted by magic. With chicken pox you need to keep away from the fluid from the pustules, both directly and indirectly, and from being coughed over.

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I agree with that but when you’re looking after two poorly three year olds all day you can’t really avoid coming into contact

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Yes, that's a bit of an impossible task! Try to avoid the actual pustules....

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Applying a bit of common sense when trying not to catch an illness is what is required. Everyone knows to wash their hands. You take your chances whenever you leave the house. Viruses and bacteria are everywhere so you can't avoid them always. Best to stop worrying about catching illnesses and enjoy your life.

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I’m not sure why you’re being so rude. As it happens I suffer from quite bad health anxiety so if there’s something I can do to protect myself and my family from catching unpleasant illnesses then I’m going to do it.

This is all slightly irrelevant anyway. The children I work with have all recovered from CP

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If you have had chickenpox before, then you are not likely to catch it again. Nor can you catch shingles. Shingles results from the old chickenpox virus from your original illness which lies dormant in your system.

nhs.uk/conditions/chickenpox/

nhs.uk/conditions/shingles/

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I know but my gp and 4 consultants all say no choice keep away.

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What do you do if it’s your child though? I’m planning on getting my son vaccinated as a precaution but I have t pay privately and not everyone would be able to

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I was away when my grandson was sent home from nursery with suspected chicken pox. I went back to look after him both parents had to work. He was only just one so close contact was needed & the poor little mite had it so badly. I was worried but I was fine & hopefully you will be too.

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Why are you so worried about your son catching chicken pox? Have you not had it?

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Yes I have had it but I’ve seen children be really quite poorly with chicken pox and neither me nor my husband can easily take time off work so the vaccination seems like a good option. Surely that is up to the parent

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Why do you even ask that question? Of course it's up to the parent. I just wondered why someone would vaccinate a child against a virus like chicken pox. I have never seen a child who has become severely ill with it and feel it's just one of those childhood illnesses that is best to let children get as getting it as an adult can be very serious.

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That is the best way to prevent catching it.

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You can get it again but as you have had it it should be a mild dose.

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I am going on biologic soon, and I had a load of blood tests done which found I hadn't had chicken pox, so I have had to have a chicken pox vax, which comes in two parts, first part and second jab 6 weeks later, then you have to wait another 4 weeks after the second jab before starting biologic

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