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Q&A: Chicken Pox and Pregnancy

.Q. I was at my nephew's birthday party last week and just found out that one of the kids at the party had chicken pox. What should I do?

A. If you've already had chicken pox, or if you've had the varicella vaccine, you probably won't get it. Stay away from the infected person anyway, just in case. If you haven't had chicken pox, call your doctor immediately and let her know you've been exposed. You may be given varicella immunoglobulin, which can prevent you from developing chicken pox. Immunoglobulin works only if it's given within 96 hours of exposure, so time is critical. In pregnant women, chicken pox can cause pneumonia in addition to all those itchy pox.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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