I have a 5 1/2 year old, a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 week old-all unvaccinated. I discovered 20 spots on my 2 1/2 year old's belly this morning and the pedi confirmed wild pox. They are now freaked out about my newborn getting it even though I had the pox as a kid. I told them I was not concerned since I passed along the antibodies and she should still be fairly well protected. They said it is not "that simple" and have recommended she take Acylovir as a preventative measure to "decrease likelihood/severity of the disease". I have not heard of this recommendation and now am questioning what my gut tells me to do. Any thoughts on this or has anyone had a newborn exposed? Everything I read tells me that full term newborns often have maternal antibodies for 6 months (but nothing is 100%). And the other part is that when my older child "gets it" in about 2 weeks, does that mean I will have to put the newborn BACK on acylovir AGAIN? Confused and not sure what to do....
Im sorry you are in this position. I have not been in your shoes but can only tell you what i would do if I found myself there.
I would never give a 5 week old an antiviral medication. Persoanlly I would have contacted our ND and I know he would have a number of natural and homeoptahic alternatives to offer both for prevention and treatment should it be needed. Your newborn is likely protected by your antibodies, and if the baby does get CP, it is likely to me a very mild case. I know nothing is 100% or a guanantee, but personally i would not give a 5 week old an powerful antiviral but that's just me.
If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.
do you mean you've never heard of acylovir for chickenpox in general, or just for chicken pox in a newborn? they gave me acylovir when i came down with chicken pox at 17 (for the second time, i'd had a mild case when i was 4). i started it within hours of the appearance of the first spots, and i still got severly ill. of course, there's no telling how ill i would have gotten if i didn't take it, but i don't know how effective it is if you wait until after symptoms begin.
in your shoes, i'd probably find a second opinion. maye even a pediatric infectious disease specialist. but quickly, since you probably do want to start antivirals before symptoms if you do go that way.
good luck, hope the baby doesn't get it or gets a super easy, mild case!
I have never heard of acyclovir for a newborn for chx pox. In fact, I have no personal experience of any newborns contracting the pox. Basically, I am looking for anyone that has had a newborn who got the pox. The fact that I can't find any, especially here on this site, tells me the chances of my babe getting them is next to zero. We have 7 days to decide if we want to start her on the acyclovir as that is what the one and only study conducted on it indicates for a timeline. Our natural tendencies lean us toward not doing it, but we are talking about a life here and that makes any parent nervous. Thx for your input. Anyone else have info? Does anyone have any experience with a young infant getting the pox?
Well, I can tell you that my breastfed dd was exposed to chicken pox 3 times (that I know of) and never had a visible case. I'd keep nursing and limit contact as much as possible, but wouldn't give anything to a newborn to prevent them (other than breastmilk).
This comes from Dr. William Sears, a pediatrician whose opinions tend to be widely respected on MDC:
If your older child was exposed, then try and keep the baby away from him during the 7 to 21 day period after exposure. This may be tough, but it's important. Breastfeeding will help provide your baby with some immunity. If your older one breaks out in chickenpox, then just quarantine him until no longer contagious as above. If your newborn infant was exposed before you knew the situation, there is really no way to prevent the illness, yet most likely your newborn carries your immunity to chickenpox.
No mention of antivirals.
It goes to show how many opinions are out there. Not sure if this helps, but there you have it!
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.” - Marcia Angell, M.D., former NEJM Editor Private Parts are Private Property!
My twin sister and I had chicken pox at around 6 weeks (3 older siblings all had it). I got 1 spot, and my sister got 16. We were breastfed, and we've never gotten it again so I guess we got immunity from it as well.
Mama to my little social butterfly 6/13/09