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Impetigo in the office

(11 Posts)
Selks Tue 11-Oct-11 10:51:02

Hi folks, maybe some of you can help me out here.
I'm at work (on break) at the moment, in an open plan office.
A colleague has just come over to chat and announced that she has impetigo. She has not taken any time off work for it.
How contagious is it likely to be in an office situation? I had a look online and it said it is highly contagious, so I'm not too happy. Or am I worrying needlessly?
I've had impetigo before, years ago, and it was horrible. I don't want it now particularly.

DrSeuss Tue 11-Oct-11 11:56:34

We don't allow any child with impetigo in the scool where I work and I wouldn't be happy to hear it was in the office. Can't she work from home?

OddBoots Tue 11-Oct-11 12:01:03

If she has been having treatment for 48 hours it is no longer contagious. Could she have started treatment at the weekend so not have needed time off?

Selks Tue 11-Oct-11 12:09:13

Thanks both. The weekend thing is possible. I think I might ask her casually over lunch.
We've just got rid of a flea infestation at work during which I was bitten loads... I don't want to bring home anything else nasty from work!

Selks Tue 11-Oct-11 12:51:45

Anyone else got any thoughts?

DeWe Tue 11-Oct-11 13:08:34

Depends where it is, I'd suspect. If it's covered up then it's probably minimal risk. If you can see it then she shouldn't be there.

Madlizzy Tue 11-Oct-11 13:12:34

It's more contagious between children as they touch each other more during play. I've just had a patch of it at the corner of my mouth and have managed not to spread it to anyone else in the house.

Selks Tue 11-Oct-11 15:00:55

Thanks, I guess that allays my fears.

CustardCake Tue 11-Oct-11 15:33:40

It is very very contagious through touch (direct touch or touching items she has touched with the affected area or with her hands if she scratches the affected area eg door handles).
It stops being so contagious after 24 hours on oral antibiotics or 48 hours on topical antibiotics (ie cream).
Hopefully she's on treatment of some sort and in the meantime make sure you wash your own hands and avoid touching your nose and face so much.

Selks Tue 11-Oct-11 20:22:21

She is on anti-biotic treatment, as of this morning. Fingers crossed that any window of infection is gone by tomorrow.

Yep, been washing my hands loads....

dikkertjedap Tue 11-Oct-11 21:17:41

Don't use any towels if there are any, wash cups/glasses before use with hot soapy water, you can get a Vicks hand foam (Boots sells it, but hard to find as they put it either in pharmacy or with their cold remedies rather than hand gels) which kills bacteria for up to four hours after you have applied it. Normal hand gel works until you have touched a contaminated surface and then you have to reapply to protect you, so Vicks lifeguard (or something like that) is way more powerful. Also, don't touch your face, if you have any wounds, don't touch them and at the first suspicion that you may have it yourself see your GP. Hopefully you will be okay.

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