A Cautionary Tale

The trouble with going out into the world is that those people have germs, and they really don’t care who they share them with.

Brenna came home last week and mentioned that her coworker had hand-foot-and-mouth disease, but that the doctor had said it wasn’t contagious.  Guess what?  Oh, yes.  It’s contagious.

Evie started with a very high fever for about 48 hours, then an apparent sore throat, which upon examination at the promptings of the all-knowing google, turned out to be peppered with blisters.  Then Rosie came down with it, sans fever, and Jonny, too, with the added benefit of nausea.  We had Evie checked for strep just in case, but it’s just a virus we’re going to have to weather.

At least my crew of sickies is pretty cheerful about it!

But let’s just go ahead and analyze this situation for a moment:

This particular virus – and most others – is spread by poor hygiene.  The girl in question was showing off the sores inside her mouth to her coworkers.  Brenna, assuming it was not contagious, used various equipment in common with this other girl without taking any precautions.  Most adults have natural immunity to this virus, so she never showed any symptoms, but she was a carrier, and she came home from work and hugged and kissed her baby sister, and passed the germs on.  And since Evie is the most popular person in the house, and quite drooly, she, too, passed on the germs.

If only the coworker had washed her hands after showing everyone her blisters.  If only Brenna had washed her hands before coming home.  Or before hugging the baby.  The whole thing could have been avoided simply by washing hands.

So.  Let this be a cautionary tale, as we head into cold and flu season.  Wash up whenever you use the bathroom, before eating or preparing food and anytime you come back into the house.  Keep those hands clean!

Funny story: My mom says I’ve always had a thing about dirty hands, so much so that when I was a baby, I crawled on my wrists so my hands wouldn’t touch the floor!  I still wash my hands something like three thousand times a day.  In fact, I can feel the germs on them now, just from typing this post.  Computers are dirty.  Very, very dirty.  😉

8 Comment

  1. Susanna says:

    Infection control is a tricky thing. We had our first ever bought of Foot and Mouth this past spring. My first three never sucked their thumbs, but the second batch have all been rabid thumb suckers…and so of course they got it. It will pass and eventually that rash will go away.

    1. We took Evie to the urgent care clinic on the advice of the nurse hotline – see your provider ASAP us always their advice, I’m noticing – where she was diagnosed as having an early case of thrush. Without even looking at her throat! Thrush! The only useful info I got out of that trip was results of a strep test.

      Overall, this hand-foot-and-mouth thing isn’t as bad as you’d think it would be. They’re all still eating, drinking, and keeping their happy attitudes. 🙂

      But I find that the doctor is usually a waste of time!

  2. Beckie R. says:

    You and Miguel are peas in a pod…he’s constantly washing, though not obsessively, and I’m almost the opposite, though housework tends to put my hands into hot, soapy water pretty frequently anyway. 🙂

    1. But can’t you just feel the contaminants in the air building up on your skin!? How can you live like that?!!! 😉

    2. Beckie R. says:

      On the contrary, can’t you feel that cool breeze washing the contaminants away?

    3. Um, no. It’s just blowing the neighbors’ stuff over. 😉

  3. I admit I have always been a germ fanatic. My husband is, too. If someone behind us at Mass sneezes twice, we move. It’s very embarrassing, but like you said, people have no qualms about taking their germs out to share them with others. I never go to Mass sick as I always think about the elderly who could end up with pneumonia from a cold.

    I have started using thieves’ oil instead of hand gel. I’m making some for the kids (though one would never use it and he’s the one who brings home colds). I am hopeful that by using it I can boost my immune system. I plan to stay home a lot this winter. And by a lot I mean all the time. And avoid doctor’s offices. Our pediatrician is good, and he doesn’t allow toys in his waiting room, but it’s still a Petri dish. Can hardly be helped. Whenever we are there I am constantly telling the kids “don’t touch anything.” I once read to tell your kids to pretend they have monkey poop on their hands at all times. Would they eat without washing, or put a finger in their mouth? Every once in a while I whisper to them “monkey poop” and they get the reminder that their hands are germy. This Ebola scare is a good reminder of why it’s so important to keep your hands clean.

    I hope Evie is better. Unfortunately hand, foot and mouth is very contagious (I really find it difficult to believe a doctor said it wasn’t) and you can get it repeatedly.

    PS I am glad you had a chance to make apple pan dowdy. I hope it was worth the work!

    1. My own comment never posted! I made the pandowdy with molasses and think I’d try maple next time. And an egg wash for extra crispness.

      Now what is thieves’ oil?

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