Oh no, chicken pox!


What an unbelievable day.  Someone at work had shingles, so a colleague and I had a discussion about chicken pox.  I was asked if my kids had chicken pox yet and I replied that they had received the varicella vaccine.  Of course, getting vaccines does not guarantee that you can’t get the disease, but it allows you to hope that the illness would be mild.  Since the chicken pox vaccine is relatively new, not enough data is available to show how effective it is.  You can only show that it is ineffective when an individual develops the illness that the vaccine was supposed to prevent.

I came home to find my husband dabbing calamine lotion onto my younger daughter’s torso.  It may have been that I had chicken pox on the mind, but my first reaction was, “Oh no, you’ve got chicken pox!”  Sure enough, it is chicken pox.  We hadn’t heard that there was an outbreak at school, so we’re not sure if she is the sentinel case or if she caught it from someone else.  I just hope that I was not a vector, as I was exposed to someone with shingles.  Or vice versa.

If she caught the virus from someone else, my daughter would have been exposed sometime in the last week or two.  Which also means that she could have been passing it on during that time.  Viral shedding occurs even before the rash breaks out.

It does appear that she is having a rather mild infection.  She has not had a fever and generally feels well. Though she complains of a mild sore throat and some fatigue, it does not prevent her from doing her usual activities.  She does complain about itch, but it has not been bad.  Of course, she hardly ever complains about itch with rashes of any kind.  Already, some of the lesions are starting to scab.  Once that happens, she will no longer be infectious and can interact with others, unless she is embarrassed about the sores on her face.  Fortunately, the end of term is nearly here.  I just hope the Easter holidays will not be ruined.


  1. I never knew they had something to prevent chicken pox. I remember getting them when I was younger and not too sure about this new method. It kinda makes sense that each kid gets it to improve their immune system and building it up to prepare them for growing up. Chicken pox isn’t nice but it’s been a part of growing up for ages and there is no harm in it

  2. True, chicken pox is usually benign and a part of childhood. But, some may argue that mumps and measles are as well. All are highly contagious and each may have severe complications. In addition, the chicken pox virus may in future cause shingles (for which there is also a vaccine but I really don’t know how effective it is).

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