Chicken pox via a third person? A worried colleague is avoiding me even though it's my kid who's sick.

I've had chicken pox virus as a youngster and am apparently immune. I believe my work colleague also has had it. However, at the moment my kid is infected and this colleague is avoiding me. His partner is pregnant and he's worried about the complications to his unborn kid if she were to catch it.

I've read that transmission is airborne, sometimes by contact with the sores. Any virus physically hanging out on my skin likely doesn't live long, certainly not longer than the 30 minute walk to work.

I am almost entirely certain that no real risk exists to my colleague. Are there reputable internet sources to direct him to for peace of mind?

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think the colleague may have reason to be concerned. Here is a web site,

    This is what it says,

    The long-term duration of protection from varicella vaccine is unknown, but there are now persons vaccinated more than thirty years ago with no evidence of waning immunity, while others have become vulnerable in as few as 6 years. Assessments of duration of immunity are complicated in an environment where natural disease is still common, which typically leads to an overestimation of effectiveness, and we are only now entering an era in the U.S. where the long-term efficacy of varicella vaccine can be accurately gauged.[10]

    This is what it also states,

    [edit] Symptoms and signs

    Chickenpox is highly infectious and spreads from person to person by direct contact or through the air from an infected person’s coughing or sneezing. Touching the fluid from a chickenpox blister can also spread the disease. A person with chickenpox is contagious from 1–2 days before the rash appears until all blisters have formed scabs. This may take between 5–10 days.[1] It takes from 10–21 days after contact with an infected person for someone to develop chickenpox.[2]

    The complications to an unborn child is stated also,

    [edit] Congenital defects in babies

    These may occur if the child's mother was exposed to VZV during pregnancy. Effects to the fetus may be minimal in nature but physical deformities range in severity from under developed toes and fingers, to severe anal and bladder malformation. Possible problems include:

    Damage to brain: encephalitis, microcephaly, hydrocephaly, aplasia of brain

    Damage to the eye (optic stalk, optic cup, and lens vesicles), microphthalmia, cataracts, chorioretinitis, optic atrophy.

    Other neurological disorder: damage to cervical and lumbosacral spinal cord, motor/sensory deficits, absent deep tendon reflexes, anisocoria/Horner's syndrome

    Damage to body: hypoplasia of upper/lower extremities, anal and bladder sphincter dysfunction

    Skin disorders: zig zag (cicatricial) skin lesions, hypopigmentation

    Source(s): December 22, 2006
  • Lorie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    It is possible to touch someone who has the obvious chicken pox rash, carry the virus in your body, not develop the chicken pox rash, and pass the virus on to someone else. Your immune system would have to be so good as to be able to fight the chicken pox virus when it enters your body that you do not end up with the signs and symptoms (the rash). Caution: Just because you aren't vaccinated against chicken pox and you haven't caught chicken pox yet even though everyone around you seems to have at one point or another does NOT mean you are immune. People can catch chicken pox in their adulthood, and it can be worse than if they had caught it at as a child. If you do not have the vaccine or the sickness by the time you reach 18, look into getting the vaccine. You do NOT want to be in college or at a job and have to miss a week of work (or end up in the hospital). Also, with shingles, you don't come into contact with someone else to get it. The virus can enter your nerve cells, lie dormant in your body for years, then suddenly pop back up in the form of shingles.

  • 3 years ago

    Chicken Pox Transmission

  • 1 decade ago

    if you've had the chicken pox,then you can't carry the virus and pass it on.I can understand why your colleague is worried about this as chicken pox is dangerous to an unborn baby.

    Chickenpox (varicella) is a highly contagious and common viral infection that causes a rash. Chickenpox infections occur year-round, most often during winter and spring. More than 90% of people throughout the world become infected with chickenpox at some point in their lives if they do not receive the chickenpox vaccine. 1 In the United States, chickenpox is largely a disease of children. However, in other countries (particularly tropical countries), chickenpox occurs mainly in adults.

    In otherwise healthy children, chickenpox usually is not a serious illness, although its severity can vary from person to person. Chickenpox usually is more severe and more likely to cause complications in pregnant women, newborns, people aged 15 and older, and people who have immune system problems.

    Bacterial skin infection is the most common complication in children younger than 5. It can occur after scratching the rash, which allows bacteria from the skin or under fingernails to infect a chickenpox blister. Most skin infections from chickenpox are not serious but require care from a health professional. Other possible complications include a muscle coordination problem (acute cerebellar ataxia) if the virus affects part of the brain. This is a mild illness. Although rare, it is most likely to affect older children.

    In adults, the most common complication is varicella pneumonia. About 20 to 30 out of every 10,000 adults who develop varicella require hospitalization. 1

    Babies born to women who had chickenpox in the first or early second trimester of pregnancy may develop congenital varicella syndrome, which can cause birth defects such as eye problems or an underdeveloped limb.

    Once you have chickenpox, you are considered immune; you will not have a serious infection again, but you may have a mild infection (called a breakthrough infection). Generally, if the virus becomes active again, it will not result in chickenpox but can cause shingles, or herpes zoster.

    hope this helps

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I've never heard of third-person transmission of chicken pox; as for the pregnant partner, it's German measles that is the threat, not chicken pox. Sounds like your colleague is a tad over-cautious, but some folks are. Give him a bottle of hand sanitizer for Christmas.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi there.............

    No one is definitely immune from any kind of virus. So, it's normal if your colleague keeps away from you, he only wants to dodge the worst possibility that could occur, not to mention that he/she has a partner who is conceiving now.

    You can't underestimate the contagious effect of virus even though you've got yourself infected when you were a kid, due to its mutating ability that can transform it to be way more lethal one.

    So, just keep on being patient. Your colleague only does his best.

    Wish your kid get better soon !!

  • pozzi
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Chickenpox Transmission

  • 1 decade ago

    nanook570 is right all the way.

    also it's best to be save then sorry.

  • Wendy
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago (or .org) ( mosby's medical dictionary, used by doctors and nurses)

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