Saturday, May 23, 2009

getting closer

up until a couple days ago swine flu was just a worldwide problem that was just out there. now australia has started getting its first cases. the majority of them are in melbourne with a few confirmed case children attending a local school that several of our families from work have older children at. the problem went from being a issue that was just sort of out there to being right in our neighbourhood. as of yesterday afternoon the health authorities are thinking about closing other schools and child care places in the area. i'm assuming they'll make a decision later in the weekend depending on how many new confirmed cases come up and how people have contracted it. so i may have a few days off because of this whole thing. the past 2 days at work we've been careful in asking families how they're all doing (even if it's not swine flu there's other flu bugs, gastro and croup going around). apparently 1 family brought their child in on thursday knowing she wasn't well (i had the day off). staff ended up calling parents to pick her up in early in the afternoon. by the next morning her doctor had confirmed she has croup. because her parents didn't keep her home and KNEW she wasn't well it's now very likely she has given croup to her friends (fortunately with croup its very unlikely for an adult to get it so its not as annoying for the staff as last year when parents sent their children in with the flu and staff were dropping like flies making everything even more difficult). i would have thought with the whole swine flu thing being in the media so much it would make parents more careful about sending children into kinder/childcare/school when they're not feeling well knowing that they will be spreading germs to everyone they're in close contact with.
(the piggy above is "baby" the 400+ pound pig that was one of 2 pigs that lived at the outdoor education camp we worked at in california)


Beverly said...

I hope your area dosen't have too much panic over the flu. We had a few cases in a community 50 km from us. All the N.American presentations were mild. Very similar to any other mild flu.

Wash your hands, use sanitizer more often, don't touch your face, and "Hug your cough". It works wonders.

Where I work (in a hospital) people are constantly coming in to share their germs with me. I really appreciate their thoughtfullness in that regard. As you know, my husband is a teacher, and gets to bring home a whole other set of germs that we would not have otherwise been introduced to. I have come to accept that in the case of germs, I am a social butterfly. My kids are pulled into the mess unwillingly. One of us is almost always a little sick. We rarely have more than a mild case of whatever it is, and I keep a large stock of medicine at home to manage our symptoms.

If we stayed home from work and school every time we were a little sick, we would seriously be hermits. Onthe flip side, we probably would not catch anything as hermits! Hmmm, that's a strong case for retirement at 30!

shawna said...

for the most part nobody seems to be too panicked about the whole thing. i'm not worried unless a child in our group ends up getting it. children are very good at sharing their germs (i can't count the number of times i've had a kid from work cough or sneeze in my face).
i think it annoys me more when people send their kids in to kinder on medication to manage flu symptoms and then get annoyed when we call them at lunch time when their child feels horrible and needs to go home-- their child has just spent the whole morning spreading their germs to everyone else in the group and is not gonna get better any faster by drugging them up and sending them to kinder. we often have pregnant staff or parents around work too so exposing them to the flu isn't the best idea-- especially if you know your child is unwell.
as staff (well the team in my room anyway) has realized we do need to spend time at home resting when we get sick (it's the only way we'll get better)-- we were all pretty bad at coming into work with a bad cold or even mild flu symptoms. after i got pneumonia last year (and i'd had the flu and apparently glandular fever-- mono) we realized we need to rest up (and stay away from other germs) when we're sick (it's likely i got pneumonia because i had the flu or other illness causing my immune system to be down, by coming into work twice like that i was exposed to pneumonia somewhere along the way). it is a tough call when is how sick to stay home or keep your child at home.