Infection Risk

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I am on Methotrexate 20mg , sufalazine prednisolone and just about to start biologics . Tonight I was in the same room as a baby who had chicken pox . I couldn’t see any spots but didn’t go close . Am I at risk of infection or just being paranoid 

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  • Posted

    Bryan, how old are you?  It's highly likely you've either had the chicken pox already or have been vaccinated against it.

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    • Posted

      In the UK chicken pox vaccination is not done routinely so if Bryan hasn't had the virus he has the same risk as anyone else.

      The reason it's not given is because chicken pox in children is mild so vaccinating them would mean they could possibly catch it as adults and it is much more severe in adults

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    • Posted

      Your information is medically sketchy.  The only way you can "catch" chicken pox is if you either haven't been exposed enough to build antibodies (you're around it usually as a kid and either get chicken pox or are close enough that your body reacts as if you have) or if you have been vaccinated against it (which is the more direct way to expose the body to the disease, which causes antibodies to build up without actually having an active case of the disease).  Once you have it, you have it.  You can't catch it twice.

      Most people have either had chicken pox or have been vaccinated.  It's common for "older" people (those who grew up before the vaccine) to have a known case of chicken pox as a child, or to have had a mild enough case that it went unrecognized for the illness that it was.

      This is important because of a few reasons.  The virus, Varicella, which causes chicken pox generally doesn't relatively do much; it's not known to be that strong.  It can cause complications, especially for someone who is more vulnerable to illness (elderly, too young to receive the vaccine, someone immunocompromised who hasn't been vaccinated, pregnant women).  For these people it's concerning mostly because of the potential of eye problems.  Fortunately this is rare.

      Once you have been exposed to the virus Varicella, you have this for life.  Fortunately, Varicella is a damn lazy virus.  It spends most of your life napping, which is fantastic.  

      You only can develop the actual chicken pox from this virus once in your lifetime.  For the rest of your life, if this virus (which is usually asleep) wakes up, it flares and presents as shingles.  Shingles is much more of a concern than chicken pox.  The virus gains strength should it ever re-activate.  Shingles can cause significant pain lasting for months, and depending on it's location if it's on your head and involving your eye, it can cause blindness.

      Shingles can NOT develop from being exposed to chicken pox.  It can NOT develop from being un-vaccinated against chicken pox.  There is a vaccine for the shingles, but what this does is help prevent the virus from activating and hopefully lessening the symptoms should it do it anyway.  We still have no way to kill a virus, but medical science can at the very least kick in the nuts so it's not as severe.  Developing shingles has nothing to do with being exposed to either chicken pox or shingles; you already have the virus and God willing, it will stay lazy and not wake up.  Neither of these things will make a difference.  Medical science still doesn't know for certain what wakes the virus up, but it's very common for someone under any kind of stress to develop shingles.

      Yes, I'm an advocate of vaccines, and even more so education about how vaccines and viruses actually work.

      @bryan47621  if you have ever had the chicken pox or the vaccine, or have been exposed to chicken pox as a kid, you can't "catch" the pox.  Also, if you have had chicken pox you can't catch the shingles.  If you are truly physically unarmed against the virus (which happens but is unlikely), you're much more likely to contract the virus from someone with an active case of shingles.  

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    • Posted

      Bryan didn't say he had had chicken pox so as I said if he hasn't had it it's possible he co could get it from an infected person, so what's sketch about my comments.

      I had it when I was 30+ not a pleasant experience and I contracted from my young son.

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  • Posted

    Hi Bryon, I see what you mean, Methotrexate, and the others lower's your reassistance, making it easier to catch things, if you think the baby has chicken pox, by all means stay away, now start the biologics, and just don't worry, give your Doctor a call if you start showing any signs, most likely you'll be ok, but I know just how you feel, very heard to stay away from people  and sometimes you want even know they are sick.

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  • Posted

    Hi Bryan, I understand your ‘paranoia ‘ my daughters’ babies both had Chicken Pox all over Christmas but don’t panic! You likely had it as a child and won’t get it again.  And don’t worry about ‘catching’ shingles either. You won’t. It doesn’t happen like that. You’re more likely to pick up chest infections unfortunately. Carol. 
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  • Posted

    Have been on MTX for nearly 15 years now, have had double hip replacement during that time, missed the dosage that week, which my surgeon seemed to like, Oh GOOD, was his reaction when I told him I hadn't taken it that week. 

    Have not had any chest infections, only infection I have had is a bladder infection after surgery.

    ?So although they say you are immunine compromised, it must not be that much unless you are very sensitive to meds.

    ?Best wishes I hope you don't catch anything.

    ?Probably one of the worst places to catch anything would be supermarket trollies, they are a horror of infections and bacteria, told this by a nurse, my sister, very senior nurse, has done studies on various places for infections, and written up papers on what she found as part of her exams towards Dr of nursing, interesting to watch her go shopping always uses a antiseptic wipe on trolley handles.

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  • Posted

    Hello

    No you wont be at risk of infection it does'nt work that way, but there is one thing about taking MTX thet i've noticed over the years, its just a little thing but annoying at times. I work in the building trade so prone to cuts especially on my hands at times and when i do get a cut or abbrasion it takes ages to heal up and at times goes poisoned and have to go to the docs for antibiotics, a little cut can take weeks to heal and its just down to the RA meds.

    All the best to you.

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    • Posted

      When I was first diagnosed and started on mtx I was still nursing on medical wards therefore exposed to lots of infection but when my colleagues came down with infections I curiously didn’t. Then I retired, I had a knee replacement and I’ve had loads of chest infections since which have been awful to get rid of. I’m no longer on mtx (lung fibrosis) but I’ve just come out of hospital with pneumonia. So much for retirement! 

      P.S. I’m not really on my last legs. I’m doing okay! 

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  • Posted

    I had shingles last summer, which affected my eyes. I had prompt treatment, and then was fortunate enough to have the vaccine. I did not realise until later that my GP could have discontinued my methotrexate as soon as the shingles started and that it can be a problem. Also I had a bad reaction to an antibiotic which I understand could also be connected to metho. Has anyone else come across this?

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