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Slapped Cheek Outbreak

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by Billbo123, May 19, 2017.

  1. Billbo123

    Billbo123 New commenter

    Hi everyone,
    I just wondered if there's anyone out there in a similar situation to me.
    I'm currently 21 weeks pregnant and there is a slapped cheek (parvovirus) outbreak at my school (including serval cases in my class). This is very very dangerous to unborn babies.
    When I heard about this my booking bloods were checked and I was found to not be immune. I then had more bloods done and was told to stay off work while I waited for results. It was an agonising wait and I pretty much cried and worried for an entire week. Results then came back that I hadn't contracted it.
    HOWEVER, I was told by a midwife that it may have been too soon and I needed to retest in 4 weeks. She said in that time I should not be in school. I did check with school and there have been lots of new cases since I've been off.
    I then rang my gp who actually didn't know anything about slapped cheek and had to look it up on the internet. Anyway she's agreed to sign me off for 2 more weeks (one of which is half term anyway).
    This concerns me as how will I know slapped cheek has cleared up at school? I have no way of knowing if children have had it over half term?
    My gps reasoning was that I'll be around 24 weeks then and the risks go down. When I looked it up it says peak feotal loss is 17-24 weeks gestation so that doesn't actually make me feel better as there's still quite a risk. She also told me to liaise with my employers about when it's safe to return. Obviously they want me back asap and I don't was to be off unnecesssirly but I also want to be sure I won't get it and don't want to put my baby at risk.
    I checked with a different midwife and she reiterated that I couldn't be in contact with children until I was sure it was all clearer up as there are still risks to my baby.
    I worry that if I go back after half term and children have it I'll be back to square one and need my bloods testing again surely?!
    I wish there were straight guidelines for this as every professional seems to have a different opinion!
    Can anyone help me or offer advice? Do I speak to my gp again or should I get a 2nd opinion?
     
  2. senlady

    senlady Senior commenter

    double post in error sorry!
     
  3. muso2

    muso2 Occasional commenter Community helper

    Put yourself and your baby first, as you have been. I am no expert on sick notes, etc, but I would suggest that, given you won't know if there are any new cases until after the Monday after half term, you should probably be off until it's confirmed to be safe to return. An understanding head would, I think, suggest you self-certificate for the Monday after your sick note runs out and then speak to you? Hoping someone who's been in the situation will be along soon!
     
  4. muso2

    muso2 Occasional commenter Community helper

    Just looked this up as a friend of mine's child might have it - it's one of those where once the rash has appeared it's no longer contagious, so no way of knowing if it's still in your school. Also, the NHS website said weeks 9-20 are the most risky.
     
  5. Billbo123

    Billbo123 New commenter

    I do know there's new cases at school because more are popping up every day so there will be infectious children around. My midwife said the risk of baby dying goes down but there's still a risk. People lose babies in 3rd trimester over this. She said the school should be clear before I go back!
     
  6. muso2

    muso2 Occasional commenter Community helper

    She will know what she's talking about. Can you speak to your HT before half term to explain the situation? It would give her a bit more warning if she probably needs supply on the first day back.
    Freaking out a bit myself now - blood test booked for tomorrow morning...
     
  7. j_madeley

    j_madeley New commenter

    Hi

    I am so pleased this thread is here as I'm in the same position!
    I came into contact with a student who was then off with slapcheek and I was 10 weeks pregnant. I was signed off until I got my blood results. I don't have the virus but I'm not immune. I have just got back to work and another student is now off with it and there is talks that an outbreak has hit primaries! Im now in such a horrible position as I've already been off for two weeks but now haven't gone into work as I'm scared. I find it hard that no one is telling me what to do. I'm just 'advised'. What would people do in my position? I'm now 13 weeks pregnant. I feel so guilty being off as in my six years of being there I rarely take a day off sick! How long should I be off for? Wish someone would just tell me what to do!
     
  8. muso2

    muso2 Occasional commenter Community helper

    In my opinion, stay off until the risk is gone. The head and your colleagues will cope (and surely would prefer this to feeling in any way responsible for any complications you suffered because of pressure to come back).
    Lots of people haven't heard of the condition or its risks in pregnancy, so you may need to explain.
    I've now got a week to wait and see if I'm already immune, which I'm really hoping I am - trying not to think about it...
     
  9. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    School has a legal duty to conduct a risk assessment under Health and Safety legislation and provision for this (and similar) should be included.

    If there is medical evidence that 'slapped cheek' poses a risk to a pregnant woman and her baby, the school is obliged to offer medical suspension on full pay, with no detriment, for as long as is necessary, if they cannot provide for their safety by any other means.

    There is no need to be signed off ill, as you are not the person ill. There are alternatives. You should involve your union.
     
  10. senlady

    senlady Senior commenter

    Welcome to parenting. There are often no hard and fast rules, you have to decide what you are comfortable with and if it is that you are not comfortable in work then ask your midwife to sign you off.
     
  11. j_madeley

    j_madeley New commenter

    Thanks for this

    Work are saying I need to stay off until all is clear. I have been signed off as sickness though, do you think I should get this changed?
     
  12. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I think you should ask your union.
     
  13. j_madeley

    j_madeley New commenter

    Thanks for all the advice! My problem is how do I know if risk has gone? How long do I wait?
     
  14. Billbo123

    Billbo123 New commenter

    Hi,
    Thank you for all the replies. I've now been signed off until I get results of the 2nd blood test. I saw a different doctor and he said even if the percentage risk is low it isn't worth it. I'm going to stay in contact with school and if there are no cases after half term and my results are clear I'll be going back.
    If something went wrong it would affect our whole lives. It's not worth it just for a couple of weeks off work (as guilty as we feel & as hard as it is to acept!).
    It's so hard when there are no strict guidelines.
     
  15. j_madeley

    j_madeley New commenter

    Hi

    I'm off work still and I just had public health England ring me. She said the cases of slapcheek are increasing more than ever at the moment. She is ringing my school to find out the key facts on how many kids etc. She said I should not risk at all as I'm not immune and wants to sign me off until I'm 20 weeks. She's finding out if cases do come up in school how long you should not be in school for. So much more helpful than my doctor! Will keep you updated!

    Billbo have you found out if you are immune yet?
     
  16. Billbo123

    Billbo123 New commenter

    That sounds like good advice, did you contact them?
    I'm not immune x
     
  17. j_madeley

    j_madeley New commenter

    Public health England have signed me off until I'm 20 weeks. Not going back until 7th July!

    They rang me school to find out details and then made the decision that slapcheek is on the rise and it's too big a risk. MY school also admitted they can't keep me safe as don't know how to manage it

    Happy to give you my email or number if you want to chat about it
     
  18. j_madeley

    j_madeley New commenter

    Public health England did say it's only up to 20 weeks
     
  19. Billbo123

    Billbo123 New commenter

    That's good that they've acknowledged how serious it is.
    See I'm over 20 weeks now but the thought of going back when there are still new cases terrifies me. Yes the risk of losing baby is owed but it's still there. It's most serious if contracted in 2nd trimester and the median age for feotal loss is 25 weeks see (I've done a lot of research!!).
    I just hope that it's settled down at school so I can return! X
     
  20. muso2

    muso2 Occasional commenter Community helper

    I found out yesterday that I'm immune - my reward for teaching for 12 years!
    Hope things settle down at your schools soon.
     

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