chicken pox

I have been looking after my grandson who has caught chicken pox,just has my 1st round of chemo, should i be worried?

Cant help with the chemo side but do know that despite rumours, you cannot get it twice, so if you had it as a child then u will b ok and not catch it. If, like me, u didnt have it as a child then they can blood test u to be sure uve never had it, then give u immunoglobulins to make sure you dont get it as bad as adults usually do - I had to have this when i was pregnant with my second child(as my first child had chicken pox and id never had it) and i only had very mild symptoms of chicken pox.

Yeh Lolly is right I’m sure but whether you’ve had measles or not can I suggest you give your chemo nurse/BCN a ring anyway -the reason I am being so bossy is that in the back of my mind is the idea that the measles virus is connected to other illnesses…not too sure what I’m talking about but better safe than sorry eh?
Good its your first chemo cos your bloods will be good still, best Nicola

maz 1 not if you have it in the past i ask the very same question as last week i was with ex my sister inlaw and her daughter she had chinken pox same day i was took into hosptial with high temp and low bloods nurse told me that if i had had chinken pox in my pst i would be ok

Hi going through the same at moment . I’ve had chicken pox as child and shingles 18 mths ago , and my granddaughter has come down with cp now. I rung up dr they were not at all worried, then had a very bad weekend and rash as well, dr still not worried . I phoned my onc dept and they were worried because you can get it twice if on chemo as you have no ressisants. I went into hospital yesterday, they did bloods and a swab. My bloods low and to be on safe side they have given me anti viral tablets 5 times a day for 7 days. So please phone your unit it is better to be safe than sorry cos no one else was concerned
All the best BD xxx

i know you can have cp twice cos i have and so have my 6 kids all of us got it at one point then we all went on to have it again
i ask about it while i was in hosptial last week and the onc told me i would be ok seeing as i had already had it dont make sence when different onc say different things
comfused .com comes to mind

My gp said that u cannot get it twice because once you have had it the virus remains in your body and thats how they can tell by blood test if you have ever had it before. Once that virus is in your body then u r immune to it and cant get it again.

Hi ladies,

I understand that it is possible to get cp more than once, in fact I know two people who have had it twice. I don’t know whether they talk about different strains (as they do!!) or whether they think you may get a very mild dose and then catch it again, I’m not sure but it is possible.

Jane xx

if you have it mild then you can get it bad the 2nd time like i did or it can go the other way round bad then mild you may not know you even had it , i was a small child the first time and 21 yrs old the 2nd time and i got it really bad that time but i have never had it again my kids all did the same thing had a bad case and a mild case

Hi be very careful as your immune system will be very low and being with a child with chicken pox can infact give you shingles. My poor mum ended up with shingles, just after her radiotherapy finished.

I really would keep away until he is past the infectious stage,as you really dont want that on top of everything else.

SGL xx

Once you have had chicken pox the virus that lays dormant in the base of your spine can at anytime turn into shingles. Being around someone else with chicken pox cannot give you shingles.

Message from the BCC clinical team

Hello everyone,
Following Maz1’s query regarding whether she should worry because her grand-son has caught chicken-pox and she has just had her first cycle of chemotherapy, it’s worth noting that although in most children this is generally a mildly uncomfortable disease, if you are receiving chemotherapy, and if you have no history of having had chicken pox yourself, than it’s important to let the chemotherapy team know that you have been in contact.

Sometimes, when appropriate, injections called VZIG (varicella zoster immune globulin) are given up to 10 days following contact with chickenpox and before any symptoms appear. This is a human blood product which strengthens the immune system for a short time, but does not necessarily prevent the chickenpox developing.
Whether this is appropriate for you will be a decision that your specialist team can make. You can always call our helpline if you want to discuss this further, 0808 800 6000.

Thank u for this confirmation !

I just want to add that according to my GP the chicken pox vaccination is recommended for children who are in contact with immuno-suppressed people. Chicken pox vaccination is routine in the US and Australia, so there’s a whealth of data showing that it’s safe. It consists of two injections 6 weeks apart. Also, my GP said that it didn’t matter that I had had it as a child because chemotherapy lowers the defenses even for illnesses we are normally immune from. I have vaccinated my children and I am so happy that my illness means that they’re going to be spared chicken pox!

Thank you everyone for your comments, i will get in touch with the chemo unit to be safe, thanks again mazw1

I agree JC and Honeybee, you can get it more than once. Probably not that often, but nevertheless it still can happen.