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Varicella Vaccine reaction and Herpes Simplex???
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Varicella Vaccine reaction and Herpes Simplex???

Dear Doctor

My daughter received the varicella vaccine at about 18mths and a second one at about 20mths.  Following the first one, about 2 weeks after getting it, she broke out in blisters in mouth, around mouth, hands and feet.  A swab showed the hand foot and mouth virus.  However she developed a hard pea sized reaction at the site of the injection within a few days of receiving the first vaccine.  It was very itchy but that was it and it didn't go.

About 10mths after vaccine this pea was still there and a mass developed under it about 3.5inches X 2 inches.  It became sore. We used iodine gauzes.  Over the next 9 days it filled, burst and emptied 3 times.  My daughter spiked a fever each time it burst.  But it was then resolved.  

6 days later, my daughter developed severely pustular tonsils on both sides, mouth and tongue ulcers, very swolled and sore gums, swollen upper lip, and about eight blisters on her cheeks.  About a week after this she developed about 16 large blisters on her left index finger (which she ***** constantly).   Initially antiobiotics (penecillin based) were perscribed.  Her mouth was so sore she couldn't open it or talk or eat or drink.  

I returned to my doctors yesterday when the blisters on her fingers broke out and they added Zovirax and Flagyll to the antibiotic.  They have swabbed her gums and tongue ulcer.

Sorry for long post..... my question is............  I know varicella and herpes are different viruses but my understanding is they are related distantly.  Zovirax treats both.  When the abscess on her leg was bad it drained lots of pus.  I had to change the dressing twice a day sometimes.  IT came through her pjamas on at least one occassion..........so I am quite sure she could have touched the pus and then sucked her fingers.  Is all this related?  Is it possible that the vaccine stayed somehow in the injection site?  And caused the Herpes simplex that we now think she has in her mouth, face and finger?

Thanks
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello,

The best way to determine the answer to your question is to perform a test (via the recent swab) and perform "viral DNA analysis of the swab by polymerase chain reaction or restriction fragment length polymorphism is necessary to differentiate wild from vaccine-type viruses." J Pediatr Health Care. 2006 Sep-Oct;20(5):300-3.

Yes, this may be related and the testing should help clarify.

What did the pediatrician say about the possibility of this being related?

Have you received any information about the results of the swab?

~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
To Add:  ********** was she constantly has her finger in her mouth as a pacifier.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for replying so quickly!  Swab came back clear??   But I think it was done 10days too late.  But my doctor (general practioner) saw the blisters on her finger today and agreed it is herpes simplex in his opinion.  The Zovirax seems to have reduced it all hugely.  

When I asked if it was related to vaccine he just said that the infection in her leg probably weakened her immune system to leave her open to this infection from another source.  

I read your reply with interest and just wanted to clarify that it seems she has developed herpes simplex (first paediatric infection and severe) and not her[pes zoster as it is effecting more than one area ie face mouth, throat and finger (which she uses as a pacifier).  

Can herpes simpex be caused by varicella vaccine?  Complicated I know!

I am so grateful for you taking the time to reply.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello again,

Quick answer to your question: "Can herpes simplex be caused by the varicella vaccine?"

No, not possible.

~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
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