Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Pox Upon Your House

So, last night Princess Yellow Hair came to King Jake and said, "I've got a few bug bites." Jake didn't think too much of this, because bug bites happen to the best of us. As he thought about it a little more though, it just didn't fit. Yellow Hair hadn't been outside all day. Unless the castle had been infested by yet another pest, there was no reason that Yellow Hair should have bug bites.

Jake then did what all knowledgeable fathers do in this sort of situation. He sent Yellow Hair to see her mother. Molly took about 30 seconds to make her diagnosis. "It's chickenpox", she stated.

Jake blinked.... "It can't be chickenpox. She had the chickenpox vaccine. Then she had a diagnosed case of the chicken pox two years ago. How can she possibly have chickenpox again?", he ranted.

Molly in her typical calm demeanor (unless facing down mice) shrugged and said, "I don't know, but it's chickenpox."

Today, Molly took Yellow Hair to the royal medical practitioner to have the diagnosis confirmed. "Yep, that's chicken pox."

Molly then asked the doctor, "How can she have contracted chickenpox for the second time even after she had the vaccine?"

The doctor then enlightened us with the following. Catching wild chickenpox as a child has been thought to commonly result in lifelong immunity. Second episodes of chickenpox have been rare, but actually occur more frequently in the vaccine group. In one study, 30% of children had lost the antibody after five years, and 8% had already caught "wild" chickenpox in that five year period. Some vaccinated children have been found to lose their protective antibody in as little as five to eight years; however, according to the World Health Organization: "After observation of study populations for periods of up to 20 years in Japan and 10 years in the United States, more than 90% of immunocompetent persons who were vaccinated as children were still protected from varicella." Persons infected after vaccine experience milder cases of chicken pox.

Jake really didn't understand most of that explanation, but he got the gist that some people do get chickenpox several times even after getting the vaccine. Yellow Hair was just one of those lucky few. So there you go. Yellow Hair is not a freak. Just a rule breaker and an over achiever. We think she just wanted to stay home from school for a couple of days.


lilfeathers2000 said...

Oh dear thats gonna by uncomfortable, for everyone involved.
Blessings during the Pox

ender said...

i had such a light case of "wild chickenpox" back in the 70s that the dr. warned i might get them again. i'd been exposed a couple of times with no results, so i figured i was immune.

end of my freshman year of college: i got them again.

you don't want them at age 19. trust me. ugh
(blogmad hit ... had to dig around into the mouse war and then discovered this post ... nice blog!)