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Exposed to slapped cheek syndrome

(22 Posts)
Petcat Wed 16-Jan-13 11:47:21

I'm 20+2 weeks pregnant and have just found out my 4 year old niece has developed the slapped cheek rash this week. I spent a couple of days with her while she was in the contagious asymptomatic period. A week ago I developed a horrible sore throat/cold/headache/joint pain type virus, which is just about clearing up. I am now terrified that this was the adult version of the illness. My baby has been kicking every day for the last fortnight, but I have definitely felt less movement today and yesterday.

I have rung my GP, who told me to call the antenatal clinic, who have promised to call me back 'when someone has time'. I'm having my 20 week scan tomorrow afternoon so might have to wait until then to speak to someone.

I am really worrying now, and wondered if anyone else has had this - what happens next? What are the chances I'm worrying about nothing? And if I have had slapped cheek what might happen to my baby?

AlphaBeta2012 Wed 16-Jan-13 12:12:10

I was exposed to this at 8 weeks (now 20+5). The likelihood is you haven't contracted it and even if you have are naturally immune. The Dr's will do a blood test which takes about 2 weeks to come back. If it is found to be in you blood they will monitor you more closely. though I also understand that contracting it later has less risk than getting it in early pregnancy.
If you did have it there is a slightly raised chance of complicatons but these are more in line with growth and development (i believe) and again this figure is small.
Insist on the blood test as the Dr I saw seemed to know so little about it and I really had to push!
I was really worried when I realised I had been exposed to it, but was thankfully fine.
Do get it checked though and any worries about baby checked. I went to Dr this morning about something else and as she said, they are always happier to check and reassure than miss something.

DoodleAlley Wed 16-Jan-13 12:14:00

I'm in a potentially similar position. Waiting for call back from
GP as DS might have it. Face rash developed today.

From going online I think someone should take a blood test to see if you did have it and it might lead to increased monitoring of the baby.

Of course I've no rl experience to say whether this is what actually happens. Hope all is ok

DoodleAlley Wed 16-Jan-13 12:15:30

Btw f you have has reduced movements I'd suggest calling your midwife in any event

Petcat Wed 16-Jan-13 12:24:34

Thanks for the replies. I still haven't heard back from the midwives but I knew I could count on MN to respond before they would.

I mentioned the reduced movements to the person I spoke to on the antenatal desk, so I hope they get back to me soon. I don't have a dedicated midwife, so I can't contact anyone else at the moment.

Clarella Wed 16-Jan-13 12:45:49

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/pregnancy/1498878-Slapped-Cheek

this was a recent thread and our experiences - I've had ds now and have matchsticks in eyes trying to stay awake but I think the incubation period is a good few weeks and actual risk of baby catching is quite low. however you do need a test and it could take 4 weeks to know the answer. (two weeks to know if immune or not then another 2 to know if you've caught it if not immune) 60% adults are actually immune. your baby is nearly out of the danger period. also - if positive fir exposure, they will be able to monitor and treat any anemia baby might develop.

search on health protection agency website and nice (nhs clinical guidance) for more info.

it is a worry (I suffered from anxiety as a result) but statistically quite low risk (though I know, still a worry)

gp should arrange blood test asap.

rrreow Wed 16-Jan-13 12:56:39

About 50% of people in the UK are immune, and the most risky period to contract this during pregnancy is between around 12-20 weeks. So because you're towards the latter end of this period even if you had got it, your baby is most likely fine.

If you're worried today about reduced movements and don't want to wait till your scan tomorrow, then I'd say go into your ante-natal clinic (at my hospital you can just go in and wait to see someone, not sure what it's like at other places) and get them to monitor movements (and get bloods taken as well to check if you've had it).

Also just to let you know that even if you DID have slapped cheek yourself the other week, it doesn't always affect the baby and even if it did cross to the baby, it still doesn't mean the baby will definitely be affected. And even if it did affect the baby, then as long as you're monitored closely they will be able to respond to what the baby needs to stay healthy.

I know it's worrying (I am 18w and have a toddler at nursery where slapped cheek has been around for a few weeks, I've had the blood test and am not immune) but from a statistical point of view it's very unlikely anything bad will happen at this point, as long as you make sure you get the proper care and monitoring needed.

georgettemagritte Wed 16-Jan-13 14:24:36

I was exposed to possible slapped cheek and as soon as I let my GP surgery know, they had the early preg bloods (that you have taken very early on just after booking appt) tested. (They keep them on ice so that they can do this if needed.) Thankfully the test on those bloods showed I had already been immune (most people are) so no further testing needed, but if I hadn't been they would have tested again to see if I'd contracted it during pg, which would mean they could monitor baby for anaemia etc. All the blood work was done really quickly, much more quickly than I'd read about on MN threads. So don't worry, let your GP know, as the likely outcome will be that they can let you know quite quickly if you were already immune at the start of the pregnancy.

Petcat Wed 16-Jan-13 14:26:53

Thank you so much for your replies. Seeing the actual size of the risks involved has helped stop me panicking as much.

The good news is my baby seems to have woken up and is kicking as normal, so I am feeling a lot better about that. It is reassuring to know that even if I did have slapped cheek, being closer to 20 weeks means the risk of harm to the baby goes down.

The midwife just called me back and she has sent a sample from my booking in bloods to the lab to see if I am immune. It will take a week for the results to come back. If I am not immune she said it will probably be another fortnight before they know whether or not I've contracted the illness. I'll have the opportunity to talk to a doctor about it in more detail tomorrow.

I am hoping all will be well with the scan tomorrow, and I can stay positive until the test results come back.

georgettemagritte Wed 16-Jan-13 15:10:20

Good luck petcat, remember the risks are v small and you're likely to have been immune already in any case smile Try not to worry!

Petcat Mon 28-Jan-13 14:18:53

I have finally had the results of the immunity test back - unfortunately I am not immune. My sister has subsequently come out with the facial rash too. I saw the consultant today, who scanned me as I have some reddening on my right cheek. Baby appears to be fine, with no sign of excess fluid.

I now have another wait for the second set of blood tests to come back to confirm whether or not I have been infected.

Clarella I saw on the other thread that you’re a teacher and were signed off work when you were found to be non-immune. I am not a teacher, but work in primary schools as an education advisor. I am concerned as I have 13 weeks to go before I start maternity leave, and will visit a lot of schools and nurseries between now and then. Do you know where I might look for some guidance on managing the risk at work if you are pregnant and non-immune? Is it worth asking my employer to alter my duties or is that a bit over-the-top?

Doodle I hope you’re doing OK and your DS’s rash turned out to be something less ominous.

Clarella Mon 28-Jan-13 21:18:51

hi petcat - sorry you are not immune - its very stressful despite the low risk. I hope you're ok. I had a terrible time as I teach autisic children and it's very hands on - the first cases were in our zone ay school and my class were mixing with the class that had confirmed cases. due to this and the fact that there was another confirmed case the day before I was due to go back after the first 4 weeks I was signed off till 22 weeks which was 3 months in total. it's was further complicated by all the med professionals disagreeing as to the actual risks. I work very closely with my kids; we get what they get. it's supposed to be same transmission as chicken pox - something like in a room for 15 mins with infected person. schools should follow the health protection agency guidelines: www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/ParvovirusB19/GeneralInformation/

the risk is supposed to drop after 21 weeks so you should be ok to work and follow general good hygiene etc hand washing etc. however, I believe for me the stress if not knowing which children might have it etc was worse and I was essentially signed off for a combination of non immunity and anxiety (and a thyroid problem!) if it werent for the thyroid I was due to be set work to do off premises or at home. technically a school can send a teacher to work in a setting/ school where there is no outbreak. if you have a risk assessment (what's one of those??!! I never did!!) I feel it should be added and maybe you could be told if a school knows of recent cases before you go? the best advice should be via your consultant really. I really never knew if it's a risk later on or not. so many people disagreed.
I used to tell myself if I hadn't caught it in 35 years I was unlikely to catch it now.
I do hope you and lo are ok and not been exposed. please contact me if you need any more advice/ a chat x

Petcat Tue 29-Jan-13 12:30:59

Thanks Clarella, I am feeling a bit more rational today - I really don't want to make a fuss at work if it's just me being precious. My manager is very much of the 'pregnancy isn't an illness' mindset and most colleagues work right up to their due date without complaining, so I feel bad enough about taking the time off for extra appointments as it is. However this whole thing has really made me anxious and I can't stop thinking about what might happen in the worst case scenario. I was awake for hours last night thinking about my baby having an inutero blood transfusion sad. I know it's so unlikely, but I can't seem to stop worrying about it.

The consultant told me that parvovirus is a risk throughout pregnancy, but the risk of fetal death is worst in women who contract the illness between 9 and 20 weeks. As it takes up to 4 weeks to cross to the baby, you need to be past 24 weeks gestation before the risk goes down. After 24 weeks the baby is sufficiently developed to resist the worst effects of the virus. He did try to reassure me though - he said in 2/3rds of cases there's no harm done to the baby at all. I am just going to keep repeating that fact to myself and try not to stress out until the next set of blood tests come back.

Clarella Tue 29-Jan-13 22:50:58

oh dear petcat it sounds too similar to my experience sad unsupportive boss. however she did say I had to follow the doctors guidance and if you read the hpa guidelines you discuss with gp and family. the anxiety did get the better of me due to so many conflicting views. even doctors in hospital said I was safe past 21 weeks (I ended up going in after a huge panic attack brought on by double checking via a midwife there that I was safe past 21 weeks after another case when I was back at school at 22 weeks - she said not really)

if it's seriously beginning to stress you you could get a fit for work note till you're past 25 wks. (ie work but no contact with schools?) I was signed off from outset as they said if I had the blood test I had to keep away from possible infection at school til they knew if I was immune or not and then stay away for 4 weeks to see if any more cases at school. it's harder in your position but honestly, if it is really beginning to play on your mind perhaps consider speaking to gp. my gp recognised the stress as a bigger issue. antenatal anxiety can be triggered by perceived threats.

I knew the stats off by heart in the end - even though v small risk on bad days I could only focus on the what ifs. the other thing that caused me to worry was that last year was an epidemic year in the illness. I would consider a chat with your gp about a fit fir work note that excludes going into primary schools?

<hugs>

Clarella Tue 29-Jan-13 22:54:46

by the way stuff the ones who work up to the end, there are no medals for endurance in pregnancy and people get signed off for so many issues eg spd or preclampsia. this is your pregnancy, your baby and you mustnt let others views and choices cloud your own. (wish I'd been able to follow that.!)

Clarella Tue 29-Jan-13 22:55:30

I'm a workaholic and in the end only worked 4 weeks of my pregnancy!!

washngo Tue 29-Jan-13 23:00:47

I was exposed to slapped cheek, had the blood test to see if I had had it in the last month (so during pregnancy) and it showed that I had. This was followed up with extra scans every 2 weeks. They are looking at something v specific during these scans, I won't go into it as hopefully it won't be necessary for you. Anyway, all turned out fine and my ds (now 4) was unaffected. I really feel for you though because no matter how much people tell you not to worry its impossible.

washngo Tue 29-Jan-13 23:03:01

Sorry just read whole thread and see that you are aware of all the scans and in utero blood transfusions etc. I know it all sounds scary but try to put it out of your mind as much as possible. I used to google t all the time and drove myself mad!

washngo Tue 29-Jan-13 23:05:22

Ps can they not tell by doing a blood test whether you contracted the virus or not? When I had my test they could tell me when in between a set of dates I had the virus (so I knew I had it between 16 and 18 weeks pregnant).

Clarella Wed 30-Jan-13 12:18:53

wash Google was the worst thing I did - mumsnet and tes forum (teacher) was only stuff that helped - plus the nice guidelines and hpa. glad all is well with your lo

Petcat Thu 07-Feb-13 13:58:20

Some good news to update the thread... just got my second set of blood results back from the hospital and they show no sign of recent parvovirus infection. I am so happy and relieved smile. My employer has agreed that because I'm susceptible I can avoid working in settings that have had any recent cases. Now I am nearly 24 weeks I am feeling a lot more secure about the pregnancy and have no reason to think things won't progress smoothly from now on.

It has been a horrible few weeks and I feel so lucky to have avoided infection. I am very grateful for the support and advice from everyone on here, especially you Clarella

thanks for you all.

Clarella Thu 07-Feb-13 16:39:01

oh so pleased petcat! it was truly horrible here as such a work linked thing, my stress was really work related stress! so glad they are supportive. just remember if you've never caught it in x number if years in teaching you probably won't this time!

congratulations on your pregnancy smile not long till you meet your little one and have no sleep grin

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