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chickenpox immunity

Posted
by rnto? rnto? Member

Specializes in Med-Surg, LTC. Has 5 years experience.

If someone had chickenpox as a child, is lifetime immunity against varicella zoster guaranteed or do you need to do titers to verify?

I had titers for everything one time due to losing my shot records. Not to answer your question, but my titer for chickenpox was off the scale it was so high. The person who gave me my results told me I was immune for several lifetimes. Thought it was funny at the time.

MikeyBSN

Specializes in ED. Has 7 years experience.

Most people have lifetime immunity, but if you don't have your records then your employer will likely ask for titers.

aura_of_laura

Specializes in mental health, military nursing. Has 8 years experience.

Titers are required, and many people need a varicella booster if you work in an at-risk area like peds.

rnto?

Specializes in Med-Surg, LTC. Has 5 years experience.

Did you have the vaccine or the infection?

It's best to get titres done because then you know for sure.

I'm pretty sure once you've had chicken pox you are immune but have a chance of getting shingles once you reach a certain age. I think it's over 60. I'm not totally sure though

dura_mater

Specializes in Med/Surg/Tele.

I had chicken pox when I was 2, so when I started NS (when I was 35), I assumed I would be immune.

I had to have titers drawn anyways, to prove immunity, and when the results came in, my titers were not high enough. So I ended up having to have the vaccine, even though I had already had the disease.

wrigh146

Specializes in IMC, ED.

Random question a bit off topic. I never had CP, but had been exposed as a child many times. I had the vaccine 2007, then I still had to have titers done for my new job 2008. Titers came back and they were low. Does anyone know how long I wait before I can get another vaccine? I occasionally work with people in an active shingles outbreak. How at risk am I since I have been exposed with no infection in the past? Any experts in Infectious disease out there? :)

I had titers for everything one time due to losing my shot records. Not to answer your question, but my titer for chickenpox was off the scale it was so high. The person who gave me my results told me I was immune for several lifetimes. Thought it was funny at the time.

What were those titers required for you? In our facility we are only required Hep B titers.

TiffyRN, ADN, BSN, PhD

Specializes in NICU. Has 28 years experience.

What were those titers required for you? In our facility we are only required Hep B titers.

Some units especially neonatal or mother baby require additional titers to diseases such as chickenpox as well as measles, mumps, rubella. The unit I work for wasn't that strict until they heard from a nurse who moved and found out days after she left (and had worked in our unit) that she had chickenpox. Many babies had to get the immune globin and were placed on isolation. Right after that everyone had to go for titers and all new employees. We also question mothers about their chickenpox status now. It is very serious to newborns especially preterm infants.

I had chickenpox and it was hell. I was off for 1.5week till it was safe for me to work. I think i got the pox from my co-worker too. Both of us were on sick leave.

metal_m0nk, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

I had chicken pox when I was 2 and shingles when I was 8. I very recently had a varicella titer done for nursing school entry (can't locate my vaccination records). It was 3.30 IV; > 0.99 IV is considered a positive result, so pretty high.

What were those titers required for you? In our facility we are only required Hep B titers.

Titers done for my own benefit and for the health form for Excelsior College. You can't go to their clinical site for testing without your shot stuff up to date. If you are to test during a certain time of year, you also have to have the flu shot documented. In the past, I needed my shot records for the other nursing school I attended, but at that time I had not lost my records.

Had the chicken pox when I was in elementary school. Recently had titers drawn for nursing school (MMR, Varicella, HepB). My Varicella was low and I will likely need the vaccine as a booster even though I had them (all over my body :)) when I was a kid.

Incidentally, I also have proof of having the full MMR vaccine (2 shots) as a child, and that was below the requirement, so I'm getting a new round of that as well. .... maybe it's more difficult for some people to build immunity? Anyone have any thoughts/read any articles on this??

diane227, LPN, RN

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg. Has 32 years experience.

We have a doctor at work who just got over the chicken pox and she had them as a child. One of the nurses has had them three times. I have a positive titer and I have never had them.

RedRobin8

Specializes in Endoscopy. Has 10 years experience.

"What were those titers required for you? In our facility we are only required Hep B titers."

We had MMR titers drawn for NS...mine were too low and I had to repeat this childhood vaccination. Okay, yet another stick, just get it over with. I had taken my 12 year old daughter with me, using the opportunity to show her that getting shots are not all of the drama she made them out to be. Instead, a nurse walking by loudly said: "Oh you have to get MMR? Boy, that's the most painful one you can get!" And indeed it was...:eek:

My daughter had a slightly smug look suggesting "See, I told you!" :lol2:

ziggysgal,RN

Specializes in MedSurg, Clinic, ER. Has 7 years experience.

My husband had CP as a child (4yo) and then again as an adult (30yo)... Immunity is not guaranteed by exposure.

Recurrence of Chickenpox. Recurrence of chickenpox is possible, but is very uncommon. One episode of chickenpox usually means life-long immunity against a second attack. (It should be noted that people who have had mild infections may be at greater risk for a breakthrough infection later on.)

Reactivation of the Virus as Shingles (Herpes Zoster). The major long-term complication of varicella is the later reactivation of the herpes zoster virus and the development of shingles, which occurs in about 20% of people who have had chickenpox.