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chicken pox and Strep A

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Aparently a number of chilren in my state (Maryland) have died from strep A and chicken pox. Has anyone heard of this? Is strep A typically very deadly? I know chicken pox isn't. Aparently its happening in Texas too http://www.texnews.com/1998/texas/strep0307.html

One of the moms in our local AP group had a 2 yr old relative die from it. His siblings had chicken pox but I don't think he had the symptoms of CP. After his death they tested him and found he had CP and the strep A.

Any knowledge on this? I need to research it more fully but wanted to throw it out here.

post #2 of 22
I don't know anything about strep A as a complication of varicella, but I wanted to point out that this article is from 1998.

The article does state that strep should be considered if:
-- A child has chicken pox and a fever that lasts more than three days; or if a child with chicken pox for three or four days redevelops a fever, has a loss of appetite, has difficulty breathing or has lesions that appear to be infected.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for pointing that out. I skimmed over it but didn't see it was so old. It was sent to our group so that people in our area know the signs of this.

I found this
People at the greatest risk of getting a severe strep infection are

* Children with chickenpox
* People with suppressed immune systems
* Burn victims
* Elderly people with cellulitis, diabetes, blood vessel disease, or cancer
* People taking steroid treatments or chemotherapy
* Intravenous drug users

Severe group A strep disease may also occur in healthy people who have no known risk factors.
From http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/strep.htm
But it doesn't explain why.
post #4 of 22
I wonder how many of the children who died were on some type of steroid treatment for asthma?

As far as "healthy" people being affected? What is their definition of healthy? You can have someone who appears to be healthy, but can currently be undergoing a lot of stress, which would depress the immune system, or could be a walking toxic dump because of their lifestyle...truly healthy people usually are not affected by disease. Someone related disease to mosquitos, mosquitos are not drawn to clean water, only stagnant water.

As far as Strep A complications being on the rise,

something to consider, when a vaccine is in the works, suddenly the targeted illnesses get on the required reporting list, as evidenced in the article you linked,

"Health officials have no explanation yet for the apparent surge, but McBride said it may be partly attributable to the fact that doctors have only been required to report the illness to state officials for the past two or three years."

Same thing happened when the varicella vaccine was in development, they began tracking varicella deaths so they could "prove" the need for the vaccine. Create the need, then fill it. Sounds like the same thing going on with the strep a publicity...

"These THREE BILLION DOLLAR 'BLOCKBUSTER' vaccine opportunities of ID Biomedical(TSE: IDB; NASDAQ: IDBE) are enough to excite the investor:"

"StreptAvax: A Potential Monopoly Vaccine Against 'Strep Throat'!

Prevnar, a multi-strain universal childhood vaccine, scored a whopping $500 million in revenue in its first year alone, which was more than any other pharmaceutical, or vaccine, launched that year. It now has revenues over $1 billion, and is still growing. That vaccine targets strep. pneumonia, which has a similar disease burden profile to IDBE's multi-strain vaccine against group A strep, StreptAvax, but it targets a different bacteria all together."


"There were attempts to develop a group A strep vaccine for many, many years but there were major safety issues with developing those vaccines. These modern vaccines have been able to be designed to overcome some of the concerns of previous vaccines." In her study, the vaccine was given to 28 healthy adults between ages 18 and 50 years of age. There are about 90 different types of group A strep. This study evaluated just six types of strep. Researchers combined those six types of strep into a single vaccine and gave it to the volunteers to see if a vaccine could indeed be safe, well-tolerated and effective. Results of the study show the vaccine produced an immune response in all of the volunteers. It was also safe. With the excitement of these study results, researchers are now studying a vaccine that contains 26 of the 90 types of strep. Dr. Kotloff says, "That should cover about 85 percent of the serious group A strep infections that occur in North and South America." That vaccine is currently being studied in more and younger people. Dr. Kotloff says if that study proves successful, the vaccine could soon become a standard part of routine childhood vaccinations."


Read more about it,

post #5 of 22
they miss out another important key. And that's the use of anti-pyretics which suppress the immune system and lead to a worsening on both severity and morbidity in ALL infectious diseases, not just chickenpox.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm just now getting a chance to read this again.

And that's the use of anti-pyretics which suppress the immune system and lead to a worsening on both severity and morbidity in ALL infectious diseases, not just chickenpox.
I did think of this because I read a post from one of the family members of the boy who died who said something like ' he acted fine when given motrin." Its so sad that everyone gives pain meds so quickly.

I'm wondering this... did the children get chicken pox and then get exposed to strep A separately? Or is it a possible that the twe illnesses are 'piggy backing' together? Since this is apparently going around to some exstent is this a bad time to expose my child to the chicken pox if the opputunity comes up? ( I bet you all will say if he is healthy and it is managed well it shouldn't be a problem no matter what, right?)

post #7 of 22

I know this is an old thread. However, I found it while searching this topic. My 2 daughters, ages- turning 2 yrs. old this month, and 5 1/2 yrs. have the chicken pox currently. They were both never vaccinated for chicken pox. It started 4 days ago. I found out yesterday, on day 3, that my 8 year old, who had received the first varicella vaccine at age 1, but never received the second vaccine, has strep in her throat. My doctor who is 100% pro-vaccine really scared me about the risks of my chicken pox daughters catching the strep. My doctor also thinks that my chicken pox daughters were already exposed to the strep, and said that it's just a matter of whether it will "take" or not. I am crazy scared of this "Strep A" ("GAS") complicating the chicken pox!!! I know this has caused death.

1) Does anyone have any helpful information to give me in  order to prevent this from happening?

2) I was hoping that my 8 year old daughter, as well as my 12 year old son, and 11 year old son, would come down with a mild case of chicken pox since all 3 have only received the first vaccine, and not the second. (And then they would be immunized probably for life.) But now I'm really scared. Should I run to the doctor at this point in time to give them the second vaccine, even though they were heavily exposed to chicken pox from my 2 younger daughters in the last few days?

post #8 of 22
I don't know if the time frame will allow the vaccine to work as intended. I'm on my phone and do not have easy access to my books. Anyone have info at the tips of your fingers?

Strep is going around my area along with the H1N1 virus. As with any virus, a secondary bacterial infection is what I get more concerned about. I, personally, would be working with herbs. But that is because I have extensive herbal training and one of my children has reacted badly to 2 different classes of abx. Just my personal choice.

Did your doctor test for strep? I would ask for that. And I would ask them to test for antibiotic resistance so the doc can prescribe the most effective abx in case you are dealing with strep in addition to chicken pox.

I also find it helpful to talk to an advice nurse about worse case scenarios, what symptoms to look for, and when it might be better to go to the ER rather than wait for an appt with the doc.
All of the above will help you be an informed parent who can respond to your children's illness as needed.
post #9 of 22

Thank you.

post #10 of 22

Hello OrmEmbar,

May I also ask you what area you live in that the H1N1 virus is going around in?

Thank you.

post #11 of 22
SF Bay Area

I know several people who have tested positive for H1N1. It's pretty mild, but weird. Fatigue lasting a good 3 weeks seems to be common amongst those I know who have it. Otherwise, the symptoms range all over the body. Only one person I know was sick enough to be in bed for a couple days. The other were more like a strange cold with GI involvement and a bad headache.
post #12 of 22

Thanks for your response. Glad to hear it's a much more mild version!!!

post #13 of 22
How are your kids doing, MominNY?
post #14 of 22

Thanks for asking. So 1 of my children with the chicken pox came down with strep too. Honestly, I feel the doctor was a little negligent in being on top of it, but since she had freaked me out, I've been very on top of it, and thank G-d she is now on antibiotics. Then my doctor recommended to put my other chicken pox child on antibiotics, even though the overnight strep culture was negative, since she felt that if 4 children have strep we should just assume the 5th one is coming down with it. (the 5th one had taken several baths with my 4th -  2 girls -ages 5 and turning 2). This did concern me somewhat, since my doctor had told me earlier that it could be dangerous to give antibiotics during chicken pox if there is no real infection to fight because then it will kill the "good" bacteria. But she felt strongly that it is likely that #5 would be coming down with strep. So I trusted her on that despite some anxiety about it.

Regarding the vaccinating of my 3 older children, I did not do it. My doctor had really scared me.... I was never so afraid of chicken pox before!! We all had it as kids and I had never heard any horror story, but my doctor really shook me up. Now I am convinced that she had an agenda to scare me. She is a strong believer in ALL vaccines. And I didn't listen to her regarding the varicella. She kept saying now that "this is why we vaccinate.... because of complications like this... with strep A....I am sure you regret your decision by now not to have vaccinated them...." She kept repeating it over and over and when I asked a question she kept giving me answers that were scary.

The reason why I decided not to give the 2nd vaccine to the older 3 at this point in time is thanks to you and the other people who so kindly responded. One person suggested that I ask a 2nd opinion. So I did. As a matter of fact, the very next day, I called 4 friends/family members whom I knew were related/or had close ties with a pediatrician and in 1 case a rheumatologist (if that's how you spell it), and the consensus ACROSS THE BOARD was NOT to vaccinate now. So some people were suggesting that my doctor was trying to "cover her a--". She was the only one pushing for the vaccines now even though they currently have strep. And she kept saying "you've been taking the wrong path until now... do you still want to continue going down that road?"....

My other problem is that her word is like G-d's word to my husband. And I was afraid that if G-d forbid something bad would happen, she would tell him that she recommended I vaccinate and I refused. And that would probably mean a living hell for me. I could not talk to him about this at all, because I know he would have taken the kids right over there to vaccinate them. But now that I've asked several well respected doctor's opinions, and I've gotten the support from right here on this website, I feel better about the decision. And I feel I could back up my decision to my husband,  if necessary. I must admit, though, that I am still nervous about my older kids....  I am hoping they come down with a mild case of chicken pox next week. But she scared me so much about the strep.... that I admit I am scared that there could be a trace of strep left in their bodies, and may go undetected since the culture would be negative right after  10 days of antibiotics. I am also concerned that 1 of my big 3 may have only been on preventative antibiotics, ( the reason is because he was never cultured, and I was scared of having the strep in the house so I had asked her to give him a prescription for antibiotics, since I thought that he may have a form of impitigo in his nose which he gets every so often..) and if in fact it was only preventative, and he comes down with chicken pox at the tail end of taking the antibiotics, then is that the same thing as taking preventative antibiotics DURING chicken pox? when it kills the good bacteria? I keep wondering about that....

Thanks for asking. Ultimately, my doctor really scared me.... and I'm hoping for no reason!!

post #15 of 22
I am so glad you got second opinions. Good job being proactive! The best thing you can do for the kids as far as keeping up their good flora while they are on antibiotics (not just in this case but every time they are on them, or you or your husband needs them is to give them a good high dose probiotic multiple times a day, 2 hours after you give each dose of antibiotics. that way they will always have a level of good bacteria and can better fight opportunistic infections while on the antibiotics. Don't give it at the same time as the antibiotic, or they will be killed. Cultured foods like yogurt, kefir, miso, sauerkraut are also helpful as well on top of the probiotics.

I am wondering if perhaps (after this is all over of course) you might want to start looking for a new doctor? It sounds like you don't trust the motives of your current one.

Hugs and healing wishes for the family.
post #16 of 22

Thank you so much for your interest, time, help, advice, and warm wishes!!!


OK. How much exactly is considered a "high dose" of probiotic? Thanks.


Also, some family members (from my side of the family) have now been trying to persuade me to change pediatricians after this is all over... I agree, but I don't think I could ever convince my husband of it. We have always liked her and respected her in the past... She took me by surprise with all this.... I guess this is the first time I didn't listen to her. When she gave me the diagnosis of "chicken pox", the first thing she said was "Be careful what you wish for." I think she is just angry at me for not vaccinating for it. My husband's sister has used her for many years. But thanks for your advice. I truly appreciate it.

post #17 of 22

a high dose probiotic is one that has a colony count in the billions.  They are refrigerated.  Udos, Jarrow, Klaire Labs, HLC and and Therabiotic all make good ones, the first 2 make one specifically targeted with strains for kids.  Should be easy to find at your local natural food store or vitamin store in the fridge.

post #18 of 22

The highest dose probiotic available without a prescription is VSL#3, at 450 billion.



However, I would still consider 50 billion, or even 10 billion, to be high dose.

post #19 of 22

We as a family really like inner eco coconut kefer. 100 billion probiotic CFU's per tbsp. We (adults) take a high dose daily, at least three times higher.

post #20 of 22

I still don't think a count that high is always necessary, if she can't find it.  We use a 3 billion probiotic daily for the kids, and the one time we needed to give DD2 antibiotics, we just bumped it up to 3x/day.  I take a 45 billion count one myself.

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