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Pediatrics/vaccinated 6 yr old w/ chickenpox



On the 6th of this month I noticed one or two spots on my sons chest. He has eczema so I though not much of it. Then a day or two later they were on both his back and chest and in decent numbers. He has molluscum contagiousum and I have seen them occasionally pop out in a rash so I thought it was that and maybe he was getting new warts. After over a week from getting the rash I decided to take him to a nearby walk-in clinic after a dentist appointment since he was already out of school. I took him to the clinic on the 17th (11 days after it first appeared) and the doctor was very certain he had chickenpox. While she said it was a modified form of it she said he definitely had it and that since he was vaccinated it wasn't unusual that he didn't present with fever, itching, or cough. She said that he didn't have the large pustules but that they were what she would expect for breakthrough chickenpox only that they usually dont last that long. I was told to take him to his PCP and so when we did she also agreed that it was chickenpox and found the length that he had it (and still getting new ones) to be more than what she would expect. That was on Tuesday (day 12). At this point (day 14) he has a decent cough and is still getting new spots. Seems like it is slowly going down his legs and arms. How much longer can we expect him to continue without needed to be seen again/ Or rather at what point should I take him back to his PCP to be checked again. Also I've heard it a few times from 2 doctors and the school nurse that there must be something going on with his immune system to let him get it this bad with well over 50+ lesions and such a long course. What could they mean by that and should I be concerned.

ANSWER: Hi, Violet,

I guess, since I haven't seen this and two docs said it was chickenpox, then it might be.  If neither of these docs are pediatricians, I would be less certain that this is CPox.

Anyway, to have new ones still coming out at 8 days would be unusual.  They still should itch with a vaccine attenuated case.  They still should scab over.  If they are still coming out and still not scabbing and not itching, I would question the diagnosis.  

Even if they are chickenpox, if he is otherwise healthy and not unusually susceptible to other infections, then his immune system is fine.  

I would have him rechecked by a pediatrician.

Good luck, Dr. Olson

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QUESTION: Thank you, I have made a second appointment to follow up on him. I guess I should say he isn't itchy like I would expect him to be. But I'm not having to stop him from scratching since he rarely does. They are scabbing over but then he gets a new wave. This had been the case over the last two weeks. I attached a fluke of pictures as well. I'm noticing some cracking due to the cough he has so likely I'm be taking him in before his scheduled appointment. Thank you again.

Hi, Violet,

This is not chickenpox, in my mind.  It is going on too long and for the other reasons I previously mentioned, it must be something else.  

I don't know what this is, but chickenpox would be pretty far down on my list at this time.  See a pediatrician.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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