Slap Face

Children love to share things with us, don’t they? Their stories, their dreams, their love and…their disgusting germs. 
My first few years as a teacher, I was sick ALL THE TIME.  My newbie immune system hadn’t yet built up an adequate cooty defense system. And since I taught young children (who suck and lick things, touch EVERYTHING, pick their noses….often, and sneeze and cough without covering their mouths) I didn’t stand a chance.
Tired, stressed and thus “immune system deprived” parents are also sitting ducks. 
Recently both of my children came home from school with library books, spelling homework, and…Fifth’s Disease.  
“Fifth disease, also called erythema infectiosum, or Slap Cheek, is a viral
infection caused by human parvovirus B19. It occurs most commonly in
children with up to 70% of all cases occurring in children 5 to 15 years
It’s called fifth disease because it was historically the fifth childhood infectious rash to be named. There is no vaccine. However, once you’re infected with the virus, you’re immune for life against future infections.
It’s transmitted from person to person the same way as any viral cold is spread.  About 50% of people living with someone infected with fifth disease will get the infection.” source
I did. 
And not to be outdone by my children, I took the rash and ran with it.  And though I don’t look as bad as this poor guy…
….I look pretty gross — red rash on my cheeks, arms, legs, stomach and back and a big fat moon face.
And what’s worse, I have every additional symptom which include: 

  • low-grade fever
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • stomach pain
  • joint pain 
So thanks for sharing, kids. And no, I was NOT surprised to learn that Hand and Mouth Disease is now spreading through the school.  
I’m used to putting my foot in my mouth, so Hand and Mouth Disease shouldn’t be much of a stretch. Perhaps I should start bathing in Purell? 

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