Q: My 4-year-old has chicken pox. Can I get it?
A: Chickenpox, or varicella, is usually a childhood disease caused by the varicella virus. Most adults who grew up in the U.S. are immune to the virus either because they had the disease or because they were immunized.
If you are immune, that means you carry the antibody in your blood and you can never get chicken pox again. You should have your blood tested for the antibody if you don't know whether you are immune or not. About four out of five women (80%) who aren't sure if they've had the illness test positive for the antibody when they have a blood test. That means they're immune to the chicken pox virus and cannot get infected.
If you don't have the antibody, you're not immune and you run a big risk of catching chicken pox. You should contact your doctor and ask about getting varicella-zoster immune globulin (VZIG) to protect you against the illness.