This past week I have had MANY students out sick. One even developed walking pneumonia. One of the cons about being a teacher is being exposed to so many illnesses. On the flip side, one of the pros of being a teacher is that is builds up your immune system! Matt calls me the “carrier” because I bring home the illness without getting it and then he gets it!
Well, on Thursday night, we had Kindergarten Math night where many children came and did math activities with their families. One student who had been out sick since Tuesday came with her family. Her mom mentioned she was feeling better and not contagious anymore. Her mom said she would still keep her home Friday just to be safe because she had Fifth’s Disease. Now if you don’t know what that particular disease is, it is one of 5 common childhood diseases. It is a very mild disease where the child gets a fever for a few days and then develops a rash on their cheeks chest and arms that is red and lacy. The child is most contagious BEFORE and DURING the fever. Once the rash develops, they are no longer contagious. Fifth’s disease is not harmful to adults or children, just a typical illness. However, for pregnant women there is a chance of miscarriage if you pass the disease on to the fetus. I knew this from past experience when another teacher in our school was pregnant. I mentioned this to my secretary (who was also at math night) and she said to call my Dr. right away to say I had been exposed on Tuesday when this child was last in school.
Long story short, I called and the Dr. who was on-call on Thursday night told me to come in for a blood test on Friday to make sure I have previously had the disease or been exposed because that would create antibodies and immunity for me and the baby. If those antibodies are not present, they have to monitor if and when I get the disease and if it gets passed to the fetus. 90% of the time everything is fine, but they just want to be safe. Also she told me I should stay away from school until I know that I am immune because of the risk of other students in my class catching the disease and spreading it. So I got an unexpected day off yesterday, and since the blood test won’t be back until Monday at the earliest, it looks like I get Monday off as well.
This is such a busy time of year with report cards due on Friday and conferences next week. I am really stressed to be missing so much work. But I guess this is the first time where I have to put the needs of my child before my own. It is not worth the risk to the baby to go back before I know it is safe. I am quite confident that the blood test on Monday will show that I am perfectly fine, but for now all we can do is wait! I will keep you posted! 😉