A cheery email from HR to round off the week: Beware of whooping cough

HR’s latest missive has just landed in my Inbox. Apparently whooping cough is doing the rounds at the moment and several staff have come down with it during this last week. So we’ve all been warned to be on the lookout for symptoms (described in the email in gruesome detail), especially if we’ve been in contact with the specific staff members. Naturally, for privacy reasons, the staff members aren’t named. But the office grapevine has managed to disseminate their identities pretty quickly.

Piffle. We’ve got at least three kids and a staff member who’ve been exchanging antibiotic-resistant staph infections for the past month and a half. Have you ANY idea how difficult it is to get an emotionally/behaviorally disordered teenager to follow infection protocol?

And if any asks me why I don’t let the kids touch me, I simply point out that they’re nothing but walking petri dishes.

I have whooping cough right now. It’s not fun. The Chinese name for the disease is “One Hundred days of coughing” and it’s no joke. I’m at around 40 days.

Do people routinely get immunized against whooping cough where you live? Or does the immunity from a vaccination wear off after a few decades?

Bobkitty, that wouldn’t be that gross stuff that gets on your skin would it? I had something like that last year and it was HARD to get rid of it.

That would be the stuff, although I have yet to have the pleasure of seeing it up close (the medical staff do everything they can to keep the kids bandaged). It started with one kid, who was pretty good at first about following protocol, but after a while he got bored and wanted to see how many people he could touch. ::shudder:: We had a staff member literally following him around with a bleach solution and hand sanitizer which is probably the only reason it’s as limited as it is, considering it’s highly, highly, highly contageous. There are all sorts of creams and soaps and special bath soaks and frequent bandage changes and drugs involved in the treatment, but a big part has to be personal hygiene, which even normal teens struggle with- our kids it’s pretty much a losing battle.

My greatest fear is chicken pox- we had a minor outbreak last year, and I just holed myself up in my office and prayed (I’ve never had it, and for various reasons they can’t give me the vaccine). This year it’s a respiratory infection, which I’ve had the pleasure of enduring for about a month now.