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Infectious disease exposure during pregnancy

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  • Infectious disease exposure during pregnancy

    I'm just wondering if I'm overreacting or if I had a right to be concerned.
    I work with someone who was ill beginning of last week, coughing and sneezing everywhere - then ended up in hospital with bacterial meningitis. My desk is within 2m and you must walk past their desk to enter and exit our office ( which I did several times whilst this coughing and sneezing occurred).
    What I'm upset about is we were not told this person had meningitis, and apparently according to management there's "no risk", even though all the government websites state this is contagious and is passed on via vapor ( therefore cough/ sneeze). We have several pregnant women, I think we should have known as our immunity is lower than that of a normal person.

    So long story short do I have a right to be upset or am I overreacting

  • #2
    I would definitely be upset! Dont know if theres much you can do tho


    • #3
      It was bacterial, which according to government health sites is still contagious ( therefore a risk) even if its low. Based on the info I wouldn't be worried IF there hadn't been sneezing and coughing as its not an airborne thing, but as we were in close contact to bodily fluids from this activity I'm concerned, GP and OB have both said its also ( whilst slim) still a risk, esp for pregnant women.
      I think I'm just upset as we weren't told ( not even my direct manager was told) I think that an email should have gone out to direct managers atleast advising a staff member has had this and please ensure any staff who display symptoms seeks medical attention.
      I'm upset at their lack of respect to the 5 pregnant ladies in our department, that it didn't even cross their mind we are more at risk and illnesses that might not be an issue for normal healthy people can be really dangerous for pregnant women.


      • #4
        If it was bacterial meningitis, then that is a reportable disease and depending on the type of bacteria (e.g. meningococcal), then 'close contacts' should be given prophylactic antibiotics. Now, I'm not sure what type of bacteria your co worker had, but I don't blame you for freaking out.

        Is there some way you could find out what the form of bacterial meningitis was? If you can't find anything out, I would be going to the GP and telling them the story. They might be able to find out if you need Ab's. And yes, the bacteria is transmitted via vapour so coughing, sneezing etc. You could well have been exposed


        • #5
          My OB has emailed me symptoms to look out for, fx we are all safe. Its "out there" now so if someone picked it up theres no hiding it under the rug.
          after the fuss I made yesterday ( very emotional - thanks baby hormones) I don't think I'll be able to get what strain it was feel really silly about how upset I got


          • #6
            When I was pregnant (35 weeks) a women I worked with finally went to the doctor after weeks of persistent coughing - she had stubbornly refused to go or to take time off, just spluttered and coughed all over everything instead. She sat opposite me and in front of the communal there was no avoiding her.

            Anyway, after finally going to the doc she was diagnosed with whooping cough. I was LIVID. I had to go on antibiotics just in case, I couldn't visit my close friend who had just given birth in case I had it as well. There was another pregnant woman in the office and a fellow with a newborn.

            The stupid fool women put the three of us at risk!

            ...I may still be slightly put out about it lol...all these months later!