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Chicken Pox

Nurses   (972 Views 6 Comments)
by Newfiemom Newfiemom (New Member) New Member

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Hi everyone,

My daughter just came down with a case of chicken Pox, I had them as a child.

My question is can I pass it on the my coworkers who have not had it?

Thanks.

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loricatus specializes in ED, ICU, PACU.

1,446 Posts; 13,071 Profile Views

I was just recently told by an employee health NP that you can get chicken pox more than once. So, if that is true, you may be risking spreading it to your coworkers. Then again, it doesn't make sense that you could get it again since it lays dormant somewhere in your spine (after the initial outbreak) to potentially reemerge as shingles (versus another case of chicken pox). Now, I do know that shingles' lesions can infect a non-immune person, causing that person to come down with chicken pox.

:confused: If anyone knows the real answer to the OP question, please tell. Since I have no titers against chicken pox, the answer would be very helpful.

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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Yes, it is possible, albeit unlikely. Much more likely it would be if YOU yourself had the infection (chicken pox or shingles). In this case, you would likely be asked not to work until your lesions have healed and/or you have been on suppressive therapy for a period of time.

I would recommend you seek assistance and information from your employee health/infection control nurse regarding this situation, as this may be a potential concern for your coworkers and patients, as well.

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18 Posts; 1,362 Profile Views

Hi everyone,

My daughter just came down with a case of chicken Pox, I had them as a child.

My question is can I pass it on the my coworkers who have not had it?

Thanks.

Since you had chickenpox naturally you are immune. I have heard of some breakthrough cases of chickenpox after natural immunity but these are rare and mild maybe a lesion or two, and you can think of it as sort of a booster dose for your immunity.

I recommend you tell your coworkers who are not naturally immune to get Varivax the chickenpox vaccine from Merck. Chickenpox is not as benign as people think especially in older people where the complications can be quite serious, why take the risk..

They are doing studies now that show the vaccine may attenute the reemergence of Shingles which would be a great thing.

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maryloufu has 4 years experience and specializes in PCU, Home Health.

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I had chicken pox twice. the first time a light case as an infant- the second time, full blown as an 8 year old. (missed the 4th of july celebrations):scrying:

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As a matter of fact, I do know the answer. Why? Because I'm a school nurse and have just had 8 cases of breakthrough varicella in my school in the last month so have been often in contact with the DPH. Unles one has had the disease as a small infant (in which case an immature immune system may not have truely kicked in to cause immunity) once you have had varicella you are immune from the disease. But as a previous poster said, you might get shingles but not chicken pox from an exposure. BUT in actuality there is about a 15-20% breakthrough rate from varivax. So having the varivax shot doen't provide permanent immunity for everyone. In fact, in Massachusetts a second shot is required at age 13 or entry into 7th grade. Of the 70 children I have already registered for kindergarten for next Sept, about half have been given a second varivax shot with their second MMR. Hope this helps.

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