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Old 08-02-2011, 09:38 AM   #1
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Chickenpox

I think my kids might have chickenpox. I'm looking into information on it and surprised that every source is telling me different info than what I grew up hearing! I used to hear that it's best to get it while you're young, you will have a milder case of it, and once you've had chickenpox you will not get it again. You will have lifelong immunity and you will be protected from shingles as an adult. What happened to this???

Now I am reading that once you have had the virus it remains in your body, dormant, forever?!?! And it may re-emerge later in life as shingles in a period of stress...?

Of course all the sites I am reading from are really pushing the vaccine. Actually one site had NO information about the virus and symptomes, ONLY information about the vaccine. Weird.

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Old 08-02-2011, 10:12 AM   #2
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Re: Chickenpox

I don't think everyone who gets chicken pox will get shingles. I'm pretty sure that's not the case, actually.

My mom has shingles. She did have chicken pox as a young child, but had a VERY mild case. She contracted them as an adult and then got Shingles.

My grandma has Shingles - same song and dance as my mom.

I had chicken pox twice. The first case was super mild. My bro had it first, so we knew it was CP. I got maybe 10-15 blisters. The second time I got CP, I was pretty well covered with them.

I always felt that if a child didn't get a "bad" enough case, they would't get a good immunity and would contract it later as a result and then be at a higher risk to get shingles. But that is just based on my observations from those that I know that have Shingles, not from any scientific literature or anything.

I DO think if you get a normal case of chicken pox (as in, not a super mild case like my Gma and my Mom), you get life-long immunity.

The vax does not give life-long immunity, thus the booster shot.

Last edited by Kiliki; 08-02-2011 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:12 AM   #3
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Re: Chickenpox

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once you have had the virus it remains in your body, dormant, forever?!?! And it may re-emerge later in life as shingles in a period of stress...?
This is correct.

I grew up around a lot of old timers and I never heard you would be protected from shingles as an adult because you had CP as a kid.

It IS better to get CP as a kid. IMO it is better to get it as a kid then to forget to get revaccinated sometime around 20 or 30, end up with it then and then still not be protected against shingles.

Shingles recurrence seems to be a genetic thing. You are either predisposed to getting shingles frequently or your not. Everyone in my biological family has had CP as a kid, no one came down with shingles. Shingles isn't on my to priority list. Some families aren't as lucky.

It also seems as though reexposure to the CP virus seems to protect against shingles later in life. Which is why people are now more worried about shingles because they won't be getting reexposed as much with kids being vaccinated.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:51 AM   #4
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Re: Chickenpox

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This is correct.

I grew up around a lot of old timers and I never heard you would be protected from shingles as an adult because you had CP as a kid.

It IS better to get CP as a kid. IMO it is better to get it as a kid then to forget to get revaccinated sometime around 20 or 30, end up with it then and then still not be protected against shingles.

Shingles recurrence seems to be a genetic thing. You are either predisposed to getting shingles frequently or your not. Everyone in my biological family has had CP as a kid, no one came down with shingles. Shingles isn't on my to priority list. Some families aren't as lucky.

It also seems as though reexposure to the CP virus seems to protect against shingles later in life. Which is why people are now more worried about shingles because they won't be getting reexposed as much with kids being vaccinated.
to the bolded!

So basically, since DH and I both had CP as kids, and now we are getting re-exposed by our own kids getting CP, and then hopefully by our grandkids too.... we would be at a lower risk of shingles later in life.

Now, if I could just find some chickenpox for DD and YDS.....
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:57 AM   #5
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Re: Chickenpox

The pox just went through our house and my DH came down with a really mild case of shingles. They have all recovered just fine. I'm glad they've both had them now and we don't have to worry about trying to track them down!
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:01 PM   #6
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Re: Chickenpox

I wlil add that if I were you, I would take them to the Dr and have it confirmed, and also take pics. For places who require the vaccine ( some daycares, schools, etc), they either have to have he vax or 'prove' the child had it. While it sucks to expose everyone in the Drs office, I would want it on record that the Dr said they had it.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:03 PM   #7
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Re: Chickenpox

I had chickenpox when I was six. When I was 19 I got shingles ( or it reactivated into ?) It was horrible. One of my childhood friends had chickenpox when I did and I saw on facebook yesterday that she was just diagnosed with shingles and one of my high school friends had it when she was in her middle 20's. Just wanted to share those stories with you. My great uncle was in his 60's when he developed shingles and it was really bad for him, not like what my friends and I had, so I think it's worse in elderly.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:30 PM   #8
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Re: Chickenpox

Any time you have had CP, or the CP vaccine, you can develop shingles. Even children can develop shingles. That is how CP works. Shingles is most common in times of weakened immune system such as times of high stress (like when you go away to college) or when you are fighting off another disease or in the elderly. It used to be common to "get CP out of the way" when you were young because it was believed that you were going to have to get it anyway and it is definitely easier in children than in teens or adults. However now there is a vaccine and people more commonly opt for that. The downside of course is that you have to continue to get boosters for life or you will get CP later. Also as another poster mentioned the lack of exposure to CP seems to come with the side effect of our immune systems forgetting how to fight the virus already living in our bodies and so we are seeing more and more cases of shingles. If you were told that you would be protected from shingles by getting CP as a child you were misled. The only protection from shingles is never getting CP at all, and that includes not getting the vaccine (it is a live virus vaccine).
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:54 PM   #9
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Re: Chickenpox

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Originally Posted by iris0110 View Post
Any time you have had CP, or the CP vaccine, you can develop shingles. Even children can develop shingles. That is how CP works. Shingles is most common in times of weakened immune system such as times of high stress (like when you go away to college) or when you are fighting off another disease or in the elderly. It used to be common to "get CP out of the way" when you were young because it was believed that you were going to have to get it anyway and it is definitely easier in children than in teens or adults. However now there is a vaccine and people more commonly opt for that. The downside of course is that you have to continue to get boosters for life or you will get CP later. Also as another poster mentioned the lack of exposure to CP seems to come with the side effect of our immune systems forgetting how to fight the virus already living in our bodies and so we are seeing more and more cases of shingles. If you were told that you would be protected from shingles by getting CP as a child you were misled. The only protection from shingles is never getting CP at all, and that includes not getting the vaccine (it is a live virus vaccine).
. I has chickenpox in 2nd grade and gave it to my brother. I had a mild case of shingles emerge in late June for some random reason. My children never touched the blisters and I thought I didn't really either and washed hands. Well, the oldest and youngest got Chickenpox about 2 weeks later (10-22 day incubation period on CP), then the middle got them 10 days after his brothers. So, it is highly unlikely any of us will ever have CP again since we have all had the privilege, but we are all at risk for shingles at some point as is anyone who ever had CP. Honestly, my shingles weren't intolerable and the boys were almost entirely unfazed by their CP.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:05 PM   #10
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Re: Chickenpox

For the 50 millionth time: you can only get shingles if you have had chickenpox.
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