It’s amazing how many more questions the chicken pox left us after we wrote two detailed articles: about chicken pox in children and about chicken pox for adults. Let’s start in order:
Yes, this is possible against the background of weak immunity. According to statistics, about 3% of people get chickenpox again.
This is due to the peculiarity of immunity to chicken pox. And this should be discussed in more detail.
The fact is that immunity in chickenpox is “non-sterile.” This term is called this type of immunity, in which the pathogen of the disease after suffering the disease is not removed from the body, but remains in it. In the case of chickenpox, in the person who has recovered from it, the virus varicella zoster remains for life in the spinal ganglia, in the nuclei of the cranial nerves.
Unbelievable, but true: we are protected from repetitive chickenpox because our body holds lifelong defenses against the virus already inside us. And there are two possible scenarios for an unfavorable scenario.
The first is the re-activation of the varicella zoster virus, “sleeping” inside, against the background of a sharp weakening of the immune system in humans (usually after the age of 40-50 years). In this case, the disease does not manifest itself in the form of chickenpox, but in the form of herpes zoster, better known as shingles.
The second scenario is reinfection of chickenpox from an external source, in case there were not enough antibodies to the chickenpox in the body at that moment.
Most often it is repeated infection with chickenpox in adults. But chickenpox happens again in children.
At the same time, I want to warn parents: if a child who has previously had chickenpox, you see the same symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor, since these may be manifestations of another, similar disease.
The first symptoms of recurrent smallpox are as follows: headache, sore throat, general deterioration of the human condition, fever. In most cases, the person does not even understand what is happening to him until a rash appears on the skin a few days later.
The disease itself lasts about three weeks.
Worst of all in this situation is that complications are possible with repeated chickenpox, and smallpox itself is rather difficult to get over the age of 10-12 years. But to find out whether you get sick again or not is impossible.
Complications of chickenpox are sometimes: gingivitis, stomatitis, purulent parotitis, conjunctivitis, keratitis, otitis, sepsis, pneumonia, glomerulonephritis, encephalitis, myelitis, nephritis, myocarditis, keratitis, Ray’s syndrome, arthritis, laryngitis.
But the most terrible complication is hemorrhagic form of varicella, in which vesicles (acne) are filled with hemorrhagic (blood) content, multiple hemorrhages appear in the skin or mucous membranes, bleeding from the nose or hemoptysis occur. And other complications up to swelling of the brain.
For any symptoms of atypical chickenpox, immediately call a doctor!
This vaccine is not a must. Many pediatricians believe that a child under 10-12 years old is better to have chickenpox and develop their own immunity to it. But adolescents and adults, and especially women planning pregnancy (but not yet pregnant) should think about vaccination against the varicella-zoster virus, given the severity of the course of this disease in adults and the danger to the fetus.
Vaccination against chickenpox is carried out with vaccines Varilriks, Okavaks.
There is an opinion that it is better to vaccinate against chickenpox than to have a virus, which then remains forever in the body. We must be aware that vaccination is also an introduction to the body of a live, weakened virus. In fact, it is the same virus infection, but only weak.
And just as with natural infection, after an incubation period, that is, one to three weeks after vaccination, a rash and fever can be observed quite often. So in the body there is an active production of antibodies to the chickenpox virus.
After that, the virus remains forever in the body of a vaccinated person – just like that of the person who has had it.
Contraindications for vaccination against chickenpox are pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as weakened immunity. Therefore, if a woman did not have chickenpox as a child, vaccination before conception would be a wise decision.
Asymptomatic flow of chickenpox is indeed possible, although it is rare. It often happens that there is no one symptom, while the others are so blurred that they are unnoticed by their parents.
For example, chickenpox is possible without temperature – a child may have only a slight or short-term increase in body temperature that adults will not notice (especially if it happened at night while everyone was asleep). And then only chickenpox will be detected. Maybe chicken pox without a rash – that is, it seems to adults that there were no pimples at all, but in fact several wind chicken blisters “hid” in the scalp, or on the oral mucosa, and you didn’t see them.
And, finally, it is possible to have chickenpox without itching – this symptom directly depends on the individual characteristics of the person who is sick, so it is not at all necessary that chickenpox will itch. In the rarest cases, it is possible that the parents did not notice the temperature of the child, did not find acne, or found a couple, but did not understand that it was a chicken pox rash, the child didn’t itch, and a specific blood test showed immunity to the virus.
So, if, for example, there was chicken pox in the kindergarten, everyone got sick with obvious symptoms, and your child does not, then three weeks after the outbreak of the disease it is worth checking his blood for antibodies to the chickenpox virus, having passed the test for antibodies to the varicella zoster virus. Perhaps the baby has recovered, but asymptomatic.
The test will show whether the child has suffered chickenpox, was it recent, or even earlier (but asymptomatic).
It is believed that if a child suffered chickenpox with little or no symptoms, he will definitely get sick again. It’s a delusion. Chickenpox is caused by a virus that enters the body, and once it has entered, the virus remains in the body for life.
Therefore, it does not matter how intense the external symptoms of chickenpox were. If a virus has entered the body, you already have immunity from it.
Actually, on the same principle, the work of the varicella vaccine is based: a weakened varicella-zoster virus is introduced into the body, after which the immune system produces antibodies to it (often with the same, but very relieved symptoms).