Shingles and Pregnancy
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I am absolutely staggered!. I am in shock. My mind is reeeling. I knew there was a chance that it could be Shingles. I mean it really looked like Shingles – that is why I posted. But you know what??, I hoped, hoped, hoped it WASN'T Shingles.
When DD was hospitalized at 4 days old with the oh-so-like Chicken Pox spots *those* spots were swabbed & cultured too, but NO Varicella Zoster Virus was detected. But DD getting Shingles NOW means she HAS HAD to have had Chicken Pox. You cannot get Shingles unless you've had CP. So, the big question now is when did my baby get CP???.
They (the doctors/specialists/etc) ADMIT they know little about Varicella in pregnancy. But this latest news to light is IMO - simply amazing!. It means that DD DID 100% definitely contract the Chicken Pox Virus whilest in-utero. The doctors would like us to believe that she didn't have it until she was 4 days old. That the swabs taken when she was 4 days old "lied", that they were not "sensitive enough". Uh-huh!, whatever!!. But I am sure this means that DD did contract the Chicken Pox in-utero. I also believe that the spots that manifested on her at 4 days of age WERE Chicken Pox lesions, BUT the reason why they did *not* contain the virus was because the/my/her infection was 6 months previously & the spots, though virus-less, *needed* contact with the air to come out(this is my theory anyway).
(I'm not wording this very well I hope you are following me?!*L*)
Anyhow,by the latest statistics the chances of trans-placental infection are 1 in 4. So DD was within the 25% of in-utero babies that got the infection(oh my that is SO scary - imagining my 12 week old baby infected with Chicken pox ). For the 25% that contract the virus the risk of being born with the Congential Varicella Syndrome is obviously higher. (Oh, I give THANKS that my baby is okay. THANK YOU!!!!!).
So,wow!!.We are really beating the odds over here!. Look at it this way........
Approximately between 85-95% of people will reach adulthood immune to Chicken Pox (being a HIGHLY contagious & common childhood illness). Only (approx) about 1 in 250,000 womyn will contract CP in pregnancy. I was the 1!. Of those 1. 1 in 4 will go on to pass the virus transplacentally to their unborn baby. DD was of this 25%.
Of this 25% the *guesstimate* (as obviously the availability of gathering data of this nature is now getting harder & harder!!) half of these babies will be born with the Congential Varicella Syndrome. Effects varying from skin scarring (mild)- to - limb abnormalities & mental retardation (serious! - no kidding ). Furthermore, approximately only 10% of the population(who've HAD Chicken Pox)will go on to develop Shingles. The vast majority of these cases are reported in the over 50's.
So,as you can see at the wee, tender age of 4 months old it is somewhat of a rarity for my daughter to have had Shingles!!!*L*.
Hopefully she will never suffer another outbreak. The doctors do not know if her outbreak was the result of a lowered immunity: ie, she was rundown (as seen in adult cases). Which IMO is *highly unlikely*. She has been strong, fit, happy, well & pain-free throughout. Or that simply her body is now shedding the virus because the immunity *I* developed & then passed to her in pregnancy is now waning. This is what I believe(I think?). Though to be perfectly honest there are aspects to this that I don't fully understand or agree with anyway. For example as Shingles is a re-activation of the Varicella virus(which has been living dormantly in certain nerve endings since the initial CP outbreak). Why would the waning of the immunity I passed to DD in pregnancy NOW affect/cause an episode of Shingles???...see what I mean??. Oh & couldn't it also be said that as DD had an CP outbreak herself, wouldn't she have developed her OWN immunity????.
Oh,I dunno. It is ALL so confusing (& amazing!)!. Do you think now I can put this whole Chicken pox ordeal behind me??. OMG I HOPE so. It really has been one thing after another!. I am in awe & with eternal gratitude that my daughter is okay. THANKS BE GIVEN. What more can I say, BUT WOW!!!!!!!!! (& one more THANKYOU).
I am amazed that c/pox can be passed on in-utero and then manifest itself in a newborn. It really goes to show how *everything* that is going on in you body can have a bearing on your baby's health. Did your dr have any information on whether children who have shingles are at more risk of acquiring it again as adults? This has always bothered me. DS, like your DD, was strong and healthy and in no way "run-down" - his shingles appeared completely out of the blue. And while shingles in children is painless and rare, adult shingles in quite common and very painful (my MIL had it a few years ago). I would be very interested if you have any further information.
Due to the nature of the Herpes/Varicella Zoster Virus. That is a very clever little viri (is that a word!!??*L*), it not only does not kill its host, but manages to go on living in it forever - or until death do us/it part!. In other words once you've had the primary infection of Chicken Pox, the virus will lay dormant in the nerve ending of the nerve root Ganglia & in approx 10% of the population it will flare up in later life & viola! - shingles!.
It is much more common in the over 50's & though I personally now have far less confidence in the statistics (little wonder really!) - they do say more than one outbreak is unlikely.
In the case of children, as shingles is rare in the younger age groups, there is two groups of thought. One suggest that the chances that the child will go on to develop shingles again in later life is the same as the 10% of the population that do. Others say that the chances of another outbreak(ever) is VERY low.