how reliable is titre test for chicken pox? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-18-2014, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How reliable is the titre test (blood test) for chicken pox? And how long do you have to wait to have the test (after you've had chicken pox)?

 

I believe my 6 yr old has them now and I'm hoping to take him to dr on Monday to confirm and document in his history. But he only has maybe 30-40 total and I'm afraid they might be gone by Monday. They started popping out on Friday, he had a slight fever during the previous night, I kept him home from school that day although his fever was gone by 9am. (it returned for a bit the next night, he had chills)

 

I have a mainstream doc, but she's pretty old so I'm sure she's seen this before and would document it, so hopefully even if he has a few left by then she would still know. But if they are gone by Monday, I was wondering about the titre test and what the failure rate is for that... I'm pretty confident its CP and think its a good idea to document in his records.

 

My husband had what we believe was shingles in late Dec/early Jan (he had the painful, non-itchy rash for 2-3 weeks on his side in a small patch) and he was sick for 2 days with flu like symptoms near the end of that rash when it was scabbing over and he started to realize what it might be.. I got it a week later (not the shingles or pox, but just the flu like symptoms he had), lasted less than a day but ended in a cold, then a week later, my son got what was same symptoms as me, except his is ending in the pox rash.. I now believe this was the varicella virus, since we already had the pox as kids, it seemed like a flu or cold for us. I'm not expert though, its possible it was something else but seems too much of a cooincidence so that seemed interesting..

 

He's slightly itchy but not too bad because he's had a few oatmeal baths, and then I dabbed them with calamine lotion. I was expecting hundreds and this seems pretty mild, when he got a mosquito bite last summer it swelled up much larger than this so I am very pleasantly surprised and relieved. (He hasn't been vaxed for cp.)

 

He's doing great and we watched old VCR tape Arthur's Chicken Pox which was great. If anyone knows about the titre test let me know. If theres a good chance it will pick it up and can be used to document his immunity, I might skip the appt on Monday esp. if they are mostly gone by then. But I'd hate to skip it, and then have the test not picking up his immunity for some reason even though he's immune...

 

  Also, who tells the school? I'm assuming I will do that? Anyone been through this in my state and know? He might have been contagious on Thursday, although he wasn't showing any symptoms yet, from what I read, he is contagious 1-2 day prior to onset of symptoms? (which was early Fri morn, middle of night) So I'm guessing they might want to notify his Kindergarden class and maybe the kids on the bus? Not sure how that works or what to expect.


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#2 of 11 Old 01-18-2014, 01:43 PM
 
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I don't know the answer to your titre test question, but considering how distinctive chicken pox are, it might be worth taking photos.  The nearly healed spots, combined with a series of photos might be sufficient for her to diagnose, and might save your 6 year old from a blood draw.

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#3 of 11 Old 01-18-2014, 02:00 PM
 
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OP what ever you do take pictures! lots of them

 

Show them to the Dr and keep for your record - with your child face, shirt off, front & back, legs, arms and ONE with today's newspaper! so you can see the date

 

I'm sorry I can't help you with a certain test.

 

I am also in PA - I would call him out for Monday and wait until you know from the Dr for sure - DO NOT tell them maybe - know and get an excuse written for days out.


 

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#4 of 11 Old 01-18-2014, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Monday is holiday, so no school... yes, I already got photos and video although I was doubtful they would diagnose from a photo but I planned to show them if needed.. first few photos Friday afternoon when he only had 3 pox, I wasn't real sure it was pox, they kind of looked like tiny pink flea bites at that time.. By that evening, they looked the same, but had about 15 of them and starting to be itchy..

 

At this point, I do believe it is CP but he's not covered like I thought he might be (I've seen it before in my sisters kids, almost 20 yr ago, and have videos of them.. They were loaded and excited to show me their pox, I used to babysit for them.) He doesn't have a whole lot, 5-7 on each arm, leg, but added to torso, has maybe 40 total at this point.. only 3 on face. And some of them are looking more red and less pink (the older ones I guess?)  Of course this is just the end of day 2 so maybe there will be more, but I suspect he just isn't going to have a bad case of it although I think its plenty enough to diagnose.

 

Good idea about the newspaper, but we don't get the paper.. maybe I can buy a sunday one tomorrow somewhere..  My digital photos are dated which I can see when it was taken also by looking at the file name on the computer not just the day but time of day also... Unless you meant as proof for someone else, the newspaper would be better.. I never would have thought of that.

 

Hopefully they will see him on Mon and record it. He only had one oatmeal bath today, I was going to do 3, but he didn't seem to need it so we did one this afternoon and then the calamine after that which seems to work for 3-4 hrs.

 

I had a terrible case when I was a baby from what my mom tells me, but, I was never breastfed or I'm assuming I would have had it more mildly  (My older siblings brought it home from school this would have been early 70s)

 

So I'll just ask the dr on Monday what to do about school I guess.. if I'm supposed to call and tell them, or if they do that, or how that works. Would the school even do anything if it was just my word alone? I mean, suppose I didn't want to go to the dr, he doesn't really need to see a dr, but I just want the record as proof of immunity,  but, supposing I didn't want to.. In my state it does say that a written statement from a parent is proof of immunity, so I don't actually HAVE to go in, I just thought it would be a good idea in addition to photos, and then we wouldn't need to do titre test. So what would the school do if that happens I wonder, they would have to take the parent word for it.

http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements/pennsylvania.aspx

 

But still curious about the titre test and how reliable it is although I think in our situation, we hopefully won't need it... My sister (8 yrs younger than me) supposedly had such a mild case of CP the dr diagnosed her with it, with only 1 pox.  So I'm also curious if she had a titre test, how accurate it would be.


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#5 of 11 Old 01-19-2014, 04:51 PM
 
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The marks remain for awhile, even after all the scabs have come off.

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#6 of 11 Old 01-20-2014, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh really, wow I didn't know that.  It was confirmed as varicella today, we did go to his dr.. Filled out a paper that will go to public health dept cause its "reportable" now, since its so uncommon. I asked if they would contact me they said no. I hope not. Gosh is there anything I need to worry about, having done that?  I thought it would be a good idea for his records to know he's had it (more than just my word for it) but I hope I'm not going to be regretting that for any reason.

 

He's up to 150 spots now total (we counted at last bath as we painted calamine lotion on each one with a paintbrush) although it doesn't seem like it as most are so tiny, been keeping them all dried out with the calamine and oatmeal baths so they are looking good, not filled with fluid or anything (maybe a small % of them are, but they are very tiny) so he's mostly just spotted.

 

also my mom said my sister had 2-3 on her belly, not just 1 as I thought she previously told me. and the reason hers was so mild cause she had already had a herpes infection in her mouth at 18 mos (lots of sores everywhere she couldn't even eat it hurt so bad) - so there are other similar virus I guess that may make cp more mild.. interesting.


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#7 of 11 Old 01-21-2014, 09:11 AM
 
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I would say you have nothing to worry about. It's just a formality with the state. 

You did everything you are required to do. He is excused from school, it's documented and no need for the vaccine!

 

She keep him comfortable and get his work from school - if he even has school! Let it SNOW let it SNOW let it SNOW!!!!!!!!!! in a few days he will be scabbed over and that's that. 


 

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#8 of 11 Old 01-21-2014, 10:29 AM
 
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It's good you got in on record. Now you'll never have to worry about him being excluded from school during an outbreak.

 

You might want to read up on calamine. I used it on my kids, although on only a few spots. I later read that it is considered "suppressive" in homeopathy.

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#9 of 11 Old 01-21-2014, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ma2two View Post
 

It's good you got in on record. Now you'll never have to worry about him being excluded from school during an outbreak.

 

You might want to read up on calamine. I used it on my kids, although on only a few spots. I later read that it is considered "suppressive" in homeopathy.

 oh wow you are kidding. never heard of that. thought I was doing great, as he had no blisters filled with fluid, I been using it on every spot!  I just did a quick search and I see what you mean. One page claims "I’ve always thought of calamine lotion in the same breath as chickenpox, but after learning that it’s suppressive, didn’t go out to buy any for this go around with chicken pox.  While it dried up the lesions, it keeps the toxins from exiting the body through the skin like they need to – you always want to allow the disease to leave the body!"

http://avivahwerner.com/2011/10/16/natural-chickenpox-remedies/

 

So now I'm worried.. this is exactly what happened, I kept them all covered with calamine (because I dont want to risk scratching, and infection) thinking I'm reducing chances of complications. now I learn I have kept the toxins in his body instead of allowing them to erupt like it was supposed to? Geez what do I do now?!

 

How will the toxins leave? Cause there are not new ones erupting anymore, we're already on day 5, I noticed he hardly scratched today so its almost gone, but we went ahead and did one oatmeal bath and calamine to last through the night just to be sure but its all going away already..  I'm glad to read at least the oatmeal bath part was ok (I think!)..  So how to get the toxins out once the lesions were already suppressed? They never did blister and fill with fluid like its described to be, cause I've been keeping them dried out due to the calamine. So there were never any fluid filled blisters! What is going to be the consequence of not letting it naturally erupt? I never would have thought of that I might ask in another thread to see if anyone knows...

 

2 school cancellations for us this week plus the holiday so there was no school for anyone yet this week anyway so far he only missed last friday.. I'm also confused about the school.. the health dept DID call me also, just to confirm a few things. She was very nice, it wasn't a huge deal..  I had asked both  my dr and the lady from health dept if I needed to contact his school about it but it seems I do not, just to keep him home for the week..  he will return on monday, at that point it would have been 10 days since onset and spots should be long gone.. so I guess I just hope that nobody else caught it from him (like on the previous day before he got symptoms, when he might have been contagious?)

 

I already know about the tylenol and we do not use it unless absolutely necessary, and then I do a half dose if he's too miserable to sleep to help him get some rest... That only happened once or twice a few years ago...  He didn't need any for this fever, it was very mild and short lived.

 

Can't stop thinking about the calamine now, oh my.

 

I did find a very interesting page about chicken pox and herpes that explains why my sister got only a mild case (a few pox) because she had already had a gum infection of some sort of herpes virus I think, when she was 18 mos.

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/01/chicken-pox-is-a-form-of-herpes/

 

 


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#10 of 11 Old 01-23-2014, 03:33 PM
 
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Are you in SE PA, by chance? If so, if you know of anyone else with a fresh case (and they're willing to share), would you mind PMing me? Thanks!


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#11 of 11 Old 01-23-2014, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
 

Are you in SE PA, by chance? If so, if you know of anyone else with a fresh case (and they're willing to share), would you mind PMing me? Thanks!


No, other side of state. We haven't purposely exposed anyone, though I'm curious whether he might have been contagious the day before his fever, prior to when I kept him home from school (which was on a Friday) ... pages I've read said you can be contagious 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms. And he went to school both those days that would have been Wed/Thurs. But if he had no fever yet, and that was a day before the first pox, was he really contagious? Where would the virus come from, his breath? He didn't have runny nose or anything.


"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
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