As many of you are aware, our son came down with Shingles this summer in July. We thought the strange rash was an allergen he was exposed to after traveling to Montana, however it lasted for awhile and the day after we got back from our long car ride, we went to the doctor to find the cause of the rash.
The doctor diagnosed him with Herpes Zoster, aka Singles. Sometimes after a child has been infected with the Varicella virus, the virus can be reactivated months or years later, and this reactivation is called Shingles. The strange part of all of this, was that he had never had Chickenpox and instead was administered the Varicella vaccine following the recommended vaccination guidelines by his pediatrician.
A few days later we were asked by Kaiser Permanente to take part of a study concerning children who have gotten Shingles. A nurse came to our house and took a sample from his foot and leg.
Today I got the results in the mail. His skin sample was found positive with Varicella virus, which proves he was infected with the virus in the past and that the rash episode studied was Shingles. AND the Shingles episode was due to reactivation of virus from the Varicella vaccine. So this ruled out the possibility that he could have gotten it from Varicella circulating in the community.
Now the reason why I am writing this is not to scare you or tell you to not give your children vaccines. I simply feel like parents should make educated decisions regarding the heath of our children. I never knew that Shingles could be a side-effect from the Varicella vaccine. Hopefully with more research parents will know more about the probability of getting Shingles from the Varicella vaccine. Maybe the vaccine will change; maybe they will get rid of it all together. I do know if I had the choice now, I would have exposed my son to Chickenpox. Although Chickenpox is rather annoying and itchy, it sure beats the painful rash he got with Shingles. But who knows what the probability is at this point. You might just want to look into it before getting your child vaccinated.