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My nine month old son came down with Chicken Pox 19 days after being exposed. Four days prior to his break-out we were at a friend's home who has a four month old baby. Although the baby was not home during our visit, my son did play with one of the little girls toys. How likely is it that the four month old will catch chickenpox because of our visit?
    
In order to properly answer you question, one needs to know the contagiousness of chickenpox and how it is spread. It is definitely known that a child is usually not contagious to a susceptible person for the first seven days after exposure. A child about to break out with chickenpox will have virus in their blood stream between days 7 and 9 after exposure, but no one is sure that they are contagious at this point. It is definitely known that child can spread chickenpox from the respiratory tract up to 48 hours before the onset of the rash and fever and they remain contagious until all the scabs are crusted over and healed.

Children immunized with the vaccine and those who have had chicken pox are not contagious after being re-exposed to the virus.

In the scenario that you presented, your child was probably not contagious by playing with one of the little girls toys, even if he put it in his mouth. He did not break out, according to your description, until four days after the visit.

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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