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measles at nursery

66 replies

innermuddle · 11/04/2013 10:22

I'm not sure if I'm being overcautious and justifiably cross or not, so hoping you can set me straight.
My 4 year old attends nursery, and I also have a 3 month old. I have just found out that two children in the nursery have measles. The nursery have not informed parents, i was told by another mother. When i asked the nursery staff, they fobbed me off, being vague and not confirming anything, then said the nursery manager would call me. When she called, she said there was only one case, and the child had not been at nursery while contagious.
This is not the full story, i have now spoken to two mums who both have children with measles, both of whom have informed the nursery. AIBU to be furious that nursery are being so vague & not fully informing parent?
Both children with measles were in a different age range and room to my 4 year old. Am i being overcatious in keeping her away from the nursery? My worry is more about exposing my 3 month old to measles, my 4 year old has been immunised.

OP posts:
Pilgit · 11/04/2013 21:35

YANBU! our nursery sent a letter home after 2 cases of scarlet fever so that we were all aware and what to look for. Regularly tell us about chicken pox and D&V bugs doing the rounds. I would not be happy with the attitude of the nursery.

mrslaughan · 11/04/2013 21:44

I would be furious - they can advise of suspected measles case without breaking any confidentiality......

Even if your child is immunized - they can still contract the disease, which therefore puts the younger child at risk. No immunization is 100%

Where are these people's common sense, and care for the community (families) who use their service. It is astounding.

meditrina · 11/04/2013 22:06

As soon as it is confirmed it is measles, you'll see the full notifiable disease procedures swing into force.

They do however wait until it is confimed it is measles - especially as doctors see so few cases nowadays and can get it wrong. Premature panic over eg rosacea would be totally wrong.

MyDarlingYoni · 11/04/2013 23:13

Surely when things like measles are suspected its best to err on the side of caution though to warn people?

nametakenagain · 12/04/2013 00:01

OP, it sounds as if your nursery was following advice, so that should give you some reassurance.

I'm wondering what I could do, though, if my DC's nursery told me about 2 or even 10 suspected or even confirmed cases. What difference would it make to us? My kids would already have been exposed, they would already be immunised. I already watch my children's health for anything that needs a doctor.

Even if measles wasn't about, there are loads of other bugs that kids can get from people with no symptoms. You need to be vigilant all the time and accept that socialising has risks.

Why are people fussing about you needing to know from a nursery when info is not confirmed? Do they not take their kids to shops and play places and friends, and go in lifts etc etc? Confused

neolara · 12/04/2013 00:10

When my dd had suspected measles about 2 years ago, the GP told me to tell no-one in case I caused an unnecessary panic. She said that if my dd did turn out to have measles then they would inform everyone concerned.

innermuddle · 12/04/2013 09:52

Thank you for all the helpful comments. It seems that I have been a bit U to be so cross, if the nursery staff are not allowed to inform parents of suspected cases.
However, I still believe that this policy is, to be blunt, effing stupid. The measles outbreak is real, across the UK. Unvaccinated children are at risk and it is potentially a serious illness. In the situation, parents now been made aware that there is a suspected outbreak & to look out for the early symptoms, and not to bring in children with those symptoms, to reduce the risk of contagion. However, this information was given on Thursday, 3 full nursery days after the second case emerged. If my child was in the baby room I would be raging, because I could have avoided any risk. Of course, other parents may have chosen to act or not, but the decisions about acceptable risk to each family were not possible because of the withholding of information.

As it is, I'm sure my children were not at risk this time. However, my baby is due to start nursery later this year, and I'm not happy that, if this or a similar situation were to arise again, the nursery would do the same again. In my view, this way of handling a suspected outbreak of a contagious, notifiable illness puts children at risk. So, I will pull my children from the nursery if they do not change their practice and policy, and also am drafting a letter to the HPA asking them to review this advice.

Thanks again to all who have helped x

OP posts:
AuntieStella · 12/04/2013 11:03

Would you post any answer you get from HPA idc?

I see why parents would be worried (and am wondering how the pattern of confirmed cases may change as children return from the Easter holidays). But I do not see how anyone benefits by acting before it is known whether an illness is indeed measles.

narmada · 12/04/2013 11:36

The two children in question at the nursery have been admitted to hospital - is that right? It is very unlikely they would be admitted to hospital with roseola (is that what you mean Meditrina - not rosacea surely?)

I would ask the nursery directly what HPA advice document says that they cannot tell parents about suspected cases of measles. Have they actually told you what the source is for their advice?

AuntieStella · 12/04/2013 11:49

Surely if they have been admitted, the cases will be confirmed and the procedures for notifiable diseases will have swung into action?

If it hasn't, perhaps it's not measles, or perhaps the information is now second/third hand and has changed a bit with each retelling?

AuntieStella · 12/04/2013 11:49

Surely if they have been admitted, the cases will be confirmed and the procedures for notifiable diseases will have swung into action?

If it hasn't, perhaps it's not measles, or perhaps the information is now second/third hand and has changed a bit with each retelling?

innermuddle · 12/04/2013 15:08

The nursery manager says that someone at the HPA told her directly not to inform parents until measles was confirmed with lab testing. Both children have been in hospital & treated for measles, so I'm also confused about why there was a delay with confirmation. I have spoken with one mother & a friend knows the other, so i am very sure the children both have measles.

The nursery have now informed parents, & have confirmed one case of measles, one suspected.

OP posts:
nametakenagain · 12/04/2013 18:38

Presumably treatment started without waiting for lab tests. I've known a child treated as if she had meningococcal meningitis, but the tests turned out to be negative. She could have died waiting for the test result.

narmada · 12/04/2013 19:12

I suspect this is BS or lack of organisation on part o nursery. If you Google there are a fair few letters on internet seemingly endorsed by HPA warning parents about suspected measles cases. I have a suspicion they might be trying to fob you off.....

bumbleymummy · 12/04/2013 19:20

They would be being treated for complications of measles - eg dehydration or pneumonia. They wouldn't need test results to confirm that measles was causing that before they treated it.

zipzap · 13/04/2013 00:36

Even if measles hadn't been confirmed, if there was something going around nursery that was severe enough to have put the first two kids that got it into hospital, then I would certainly expect nursery to be sending home letters about the problem, the fact that it has already hospitalised two kids, symptoms to look out for and about going to see the gp as it can be really serious etc.

Even if they don't actually say that it is measles.

I don't think that is panic mongering - I think it is showing consideration for others that you and your family come in to close contact with regularly. It should also help to prevent people going out and about if they suspect there might be a problem, rather than thinking that it was just a bit of a cold and going out and then spreading it further.

I say that as someone who wasn't vaccinated against measles as a child - apparently there was a scare around the time I was due to get it so my mother didn't get me done, although she did get my younger sis done when she was ready as the scare had died down by then. She realised when I started back at junior school that I had missed my vaccination so rang up the gp, who ordered it and I went down for my appointment a few days later. I had a bit of a cold so he said it would keep in the fridge and to come back when I was healthy again.

next day was start of term - I was still a bit sniffly but nothing major so went into school. Couple of days later - cold hadn't gone and I was covered in spots - yep, come down with measles and managed to give it to quite a lot of kids in the school as I'd gone in whilst contagious (although I didn't know obviously at the time). It was a small town, same doctors practice saw everyone, so lots of people in my year hadn't had the vaccination. However, once the doctor saw that I had measles (back in the day when they did house calls!) they were able to tell school who were able to warn everybody and for a while if people had colds then parents were warned to be extra careful and keep them off maybe more than they would have done otherwise, so they didn't come and spread measles around even more. This was seen as better than going in regardless and assuming that it was just a mild cold that you had.

Reading reports about the current outbreak of measles, it seems that one of the things they are saying is that being vaccinated doesn't mean that you won't get measles but that if you do get it, it should be less severe than it would have been otherwise. It sounds like the version going around your nursery is causing severe problems (you wouldn't normally expect 2/2 cases to end up in hospital) so they should be alerting people to potential dangers

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