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My dd is having a "canary" reaction to my son's virus. He stayed home from school today sick and she has been on Erythromycin for the past 12 days. She has been doing wonderfully (amazingly wonderfully). Today - she comes home from school, looks possessed is being mean and looks like a deer in headlights. She also has some tics which we have not seen since February. Does anyone have a medical explanation as to what is happening ... a link would be good - I am trying to explain it to her teacher. How in the world do you explain how your child exhibits these symptoms when someone ELSE is sick????

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We see this with our son. Exposure to any illness causes his body to increase antibody production which increases the attack on the basal ganglia which in turn increases the pandas symptoms. I've heard it explained like this. Someone on an airplane can have a life threatening reaction due to a peanut allergy from the particles in the air of the other passengers eating the peanuts. Even though the person with the allergy never actually ate a peanut their body still reacts.

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Its just the way the immune system works- when it detects foreign invaders, it mounts an antibody defense. If those antibodies are problematic, they are just as problematic w/o a full blown infection. Its not the infection that causes PANDAS, its the antibodies and those are made just w/ exposure...in an attempt to prevent infection.

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My pediatrician explained it like this: with a normal strep infection, the body has been exposed up to 2-3 days before any physical symptoms of infection are present (fever, sore throat, etc...). During that time, the body's immune system has already begun to produce th antibodies to fight HHS inception, even though there are no physical symptoms. Since our childrens immune response is what is causing the behavior issues, we see that immediately, even before the onset of any physical signs of illness.

 

I've always been told that you're usually the most contagious the 48 hours BEFORE you get sick, and that's because the bacteria is already present, and the immune response has started.

 

Maybe it's a simple explanation, but it's worked for me when I've had to explain it to school and such.

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