This morning I noticed a 2nd grader with very flushed cheeks. I thought it was odd since he had just gotten to school and hadn't even had a chance to run around yet and get hot. 10 minutes after school started, I was in the office shredding some papers when the 2nd grade TA brought the child into the office to call his parents and send him home. The office manager took one look at him and made me leave the office immediately (I think she's a bit of a hypochondriac [not sure why she's working in a school], so I decided she was just being paranoid).
After I left the office, the OM came down to my classroom. She told me that she called the child's father, who then told the OM that his son has Fifth Disease and that he caught it from his younger sister. Then why did you send your child to school?!?! The OM told me that Fifth Disease is dangerous for pregnant women and that I should call my doctor and let him know that I've been exposed to it. I decide to Google "Fifth Disease" so I can learn more about it. According to Wikipedia, "In pregnant women, infection in the first trimester has been linked to hydrops fetalis, causing spontaneous abortion."
Now I'm starting to freak out. I still have 2 weeks left of the first trimester. I call my doctor's office and leave a message for one of the nurses explaining my situation and that I've been exposed to Fifth Disease. They usually call back by the end of the day, but I got a call back FOUR minutes later! The nurse told me that they tested for Fifth Disease with my bloodwork almost 3 weeks ago, and I'm immune to it (thank God!). She said that they usually do this test with people who work with children to make sure they're okay.
I'm soooo thankful that I'm immune to it. But I also believe it's extremely irresponsible to send your sick child to school when you KNOW they're sick and what they have. It's just putting the well-being of others through unnecessary risk. So to all the parents out there: Please don't send your sick child to school. Thank you.