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Old 05-23-2013, 08:26 PM   #1
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Chicken pox?

I'm 20 weeks pregnant now and have a 5yo and 2yo who've received the vaccine. I have a close friend who is doing a "pox party" to try and expose her kids and gain immunity that way.
(Debating the while vaccine/exposure thing NOT the point, so please don't derail the thread).

My question is this:
Should I avoid her and her kids for a period of time to make sure I'm not exposed? Since I'm pregnant.

Actual reliable sources appreciated (medical literature, studies, articles, etc).

I'm leaning towards "yes" bc I know the vaccine doesn't 100% protect my kids, and on top of being mildly concerned that I could expose myself/baby (only mildly bc I've already had it), I REALLY REALLY don't want to deal with a pair of whiney, itchy kids. *blush*

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Old 05-23-2013, 09:13 PM   #2
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Re: Chicken pox?

I probably would stay away. Unless your 2yo has had both the rounds of the vaccine then he/she could still get it. I don't blame you for not wanting to deal with it while pregnant! I don't do the chicken pox vaccine until 3, but I know I would NOT want to deal with my kids getting the chicken pox while being pregnant....so I would definitely be considering doing the vaccine rounds a little sooner if need be! Haha
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
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Yes, even with both rounds of the vac, your kids are still susceptible to the virus...they just probably would have a very mild case. Both of my children got the pox in march :P mild cases, but still very much the chicken pox.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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Re: Chicken pox?

A single dose of chickenpox vaccine given in childhood is about 90% effective, according to this review article:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...-3303.abstract
The second dose usually is given at 4-6 yrs of age, so your 5 yr old may have had it but your 2 yr old probably has not. So if your kids were exposed, there's a small but significant risk that they could develop a milder form of chickenpox ("mild" means <50 pox). Since you've had the disease, it's not likely that you would get it again. If it was me, I'd keep my kids away until everyone has recovered -it's not worth taking the chance of having sick, miserable, pox-y kids on your hands while you are pregnant.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:55 AM   #5
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Re: Chicken pox?

You should have had a chicken pox titer with your initial blood work with your pregnancy. This will tell you your immunity level with it. My level actually went up when I got pregnant. Don't know how that happened but I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth!

Your children though have likely NOT had a titer to check their immunity. So I think I would stay away unless for some reason your child's ped has tested both of your children recently.

Good luck!
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:40 AM   #6
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I would avoid them for a while too, mostly because of risk for your kids.

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Old 05-24-2013, 10:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3 ladybugs
You should have had a chicken pox titer with your initial blood work with your pregnancy. This will tell you your immunity level with it. My level actually went up when I got pregnant. Don't know how that happened but I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth!

Your children though have likely NOT had a titer to check their immunity. So I think I would stay away unless for some reason your child's ped has tested both of your children recently.

Good luck!
I know they didn't run a varicella titer. They did one for rubella (I'm immune), but not varicella. I had it when I was a kid, so I'm not as worried about myself. Just wasn't sure if it was something that mutated like the flu virus can.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:38 AM   #8
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Re: Chicken pox?

I don't think it can mutate but you immunity can go down over the years. I had an AWFUL case of it when I was 10. All over, not in my lungs but everywhere else. My immunity went steadlily down till this pregnancy. I don't know if I was exposed to it and didn't know it or what. I can't get the vaccine again (my history doesn't allow for it) so I am glad that it went back up. I have been tested more times then I can count as an adult. I used to work with children and it was a good idea to do.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:19 AM   #9
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Re: Chicken pox?

Linking on my phone is a pain. However, if you google CDC and varicella, you can obtain good information about the vaccine. After both doses, greater than 95% of children will have complete immunity. It is a fallacy that the vaccine only means you will have a lesser case of chicken pox. Having had chicken pox yourself, you also have immunity (although sone people - likely those who do not acquire immunity from the vaccine) do not gain complete lifetime immunity from the wild disease.

Ultimately this means that, if your children are vaccinated and you have had the disease, there is no reason to avoid your friend. However, I tend to be more cautious during pregnancy.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:14 PM   #10
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Re: Chicken pox?

Well, we took my DS2 to try to get exposed (STILL didn't work!!) a month ago, and the little boy who had it was fully vax'd (both doses), and still had a full-blown, doctor verified, case of pox. He contracted it from his dad, who had shingles.
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