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Chicken Pox and childhood illnesses ponderings

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:57 PM
donnaf (Offline)
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Default Chicken Pox and childhood illnesses ponderings


Barbara Walters, at age 83, has contracted chicken pox. Saw this on TMZ and after reading some of the comments made on the story, I am amazed at how little some folks know about this common childhood illness.

Some readers didn't know there is now a vaccine for it, others were saying that one should deliberately expose one's child to an infected child so they can go ahead and get them, many were astounded she even got them at her age--because in their mind it only affects children.

I myself had it TWICE--once as a child and again at age 29. The doctor I saw in the emergency room took one look at me and giggled before telling me I had chicken pox. (I sincerely hope I infected him because that was the sickest I can remember feeling ever in my life--until I got food poisoning from Subways a couple years ago. And it was no laughing matter to me. I looked like something from Ren and Stimpy.) Apparently, if one is not exposed to chicken pox for a long time after having had them then the body does not keep the same level of immunity--or some BS the doctor claimed.

My girls have had the vaccine and have yet to get chicken pox. But then again, they haven't had ANY of the childhood illnesses. I wonder if this is because of the stringent vaccination program here in the US (kids must have their vaccinations before being allowed to attend school) or if I have just been very fortunate...

I can definitely remember the chicken pox because my sisters and I had them on the heels of having had the mumps. I can still vividly remember the pain behind my ears on both sides and how much it hurt to swallow.

Have your own children had any of the childhood diseases that you had or is this becoming a thing of the past? Have you had any?

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:35 AM
Redlorry
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IN the UK we don't vaccinate against chicken pox and we do actively encourage our children to get it at a young age. Not chicken pox lollipops as have been on the net, but we do let our children mingle when they have it.

The varicella zoster virus that causes chicken pox is normally caught in childhood, manifesting as chicken pox, it's highly contagious and can be uncomfortable, but is usually harmless. You can catch chicken pox more than once, which most likely occurs if you didn't have it too badly the first time.

After chicken pox clears up the virus remains dormant in the body and anytime in later life it can reactivate causing shingles. This is usually when you're an adult, most commonly over 40 and if you're run down or have been unwell.

You cannot catch shingles, you only get it if you've had chicken pox. However, you can catch chicken pox from someone suffering with shingles.

My children had chicken pox together, my daughter was 3 and my son 4 months. I have some great pictures of them all smiley and spotty. It was a worrying time as other babies in out area died through complications with chicken pox when the spots affected their internal organs. Thankfully my two were fine and apart from a bit of itching they came through it really well

I go chicken pox at age 18. I was working in a DIY store and a child with chicken pox threw up over my checkout. I had to clear it up and contracted the virus. I lost a job opportunity because of it because I was too ill to make the second interview. Being older I was more than aware of where all the spots were and I was really ill with it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:28 AM
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mine arent vaxed for pox. the vax is less effective than the condition itself at providing immunity. ergo you're more susceptible in adulthood if you vaxed your way clear of it in childhood. having said that, neither of mine have managed to catch it and they're teen and preteen :/

btw, redlorry, have not seen vomiting in pox. generally symptoms are similar to a cold or mild flu. may have been an unhappy coincidence that a poxy kid vomited in your general direction
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:05 AM
Redlorry
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Originally Posted by bumhead View Post
may have been an unhappy coincidence that a poxy kid vomited in your general direction
I'll say!!

The only good thing about chicken pox for me was it was July, Wimbledon was on the telly and I got two weeks off work to sit and scratch and watch the tennis.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:44 AM
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I never had chicken pox as a child, and now redlorry's post frightens me :O Good thing we hermits dont go outside much!
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:23 AM
donnaf (Offline)
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My second bout of the pox came from me trying to be a nice aunty and help my sister daub her little heathen with calamine lotion to help ease his itching. Little pita got all pissy with me so I was like, "Fine! Suffer then!" Little did I know how much those words would haunt me...

I felt so awful with them. I remember my eyes hurt so much they actually felt round. I know that doesn't make much sense but it really felt like I could feel how round they were.
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