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Colleagues impetigo

66 replies

Cakeandcustard123 · 05/12/2019 19:06

Last week my colleague had a sore on her chin. It started off looking like quite an angry spot but then spread and looked very angry and inflamed. We encouraged her to go see her GP necause it looked really sore, which she did yesterday. GP has said its impetigo and has seemingly given her some cream. My concern is that she keeps rubbing this cream into her chin whilst sat at her desk but then not washing her hands afterwards. I don't know how to handle this. She's such a sensitive soul and I'm sure she's already feeling really self conscious about her chin. I've tried saying "oh try not to touch it you might infect it or make it sore" etc but it hasnt helped. If I go to HR it will be pretty obvious someone has complained about her and I dont want any awkwardness, but I really really don't want to catch it. Am I being a bit precious? Has anyone ever actually caught impetigo from a surface such as a door handle or something? Tell me I'm not going to get it!!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

172 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Sunnydays999 · 05/12/2019 19:09

I’m not sure how it passes on surfaces ? Although I had it as a teen and managed to spread it over my face by touching it !

missnevermind · 05/12/2019 19:10

I don't know. But when my Mum had impetigo she wouldn't let me visit with the children for a long time.

ConstanceL · 05/12/2019 19:13

Think you are going to have to decide: Do you want to risk hurting her feelings by bringing it up, or do you want to risk catching it? I have no idea how it spreads so if you can't face doing the former, arm yourself with lots of antibacterial gel and use it liberally whenever you have to touch communal surfaces.

Aroundtheworldin80moves · 05/12/2019 19:13

It's infectious for 48hrs after starting the antibiotic treatment- and I thought you had to stay home for that time?

Minky35 · 05/12/2019 19:14

Don’t know how to add links but NHS site says it’s very infectious, stay off work for 48hrs.

MyGirlDaisy · 05/12/2019 19:19

Hmm this is tricky as it is very contagious (sorry!) and it would be best if she covered it at work. Do you have to share a keyboard? I think you have either got to be really frank and say you are sorry this is really awkward but you are concerned that it will spread and please could she take preventative measures or keep quiet and wash your hands at every opportunity - good luck!

Pinkyponker · 05/12/2019 19:21

She shouldn't actually be at work with it at all

AtrociousCircumstance · 05/12/2019 19:23

Yes you can get it from surfaces.

She sounds extremely dense not to know she has to wash her hands every single time she goes anywhere near her face, and make sure it doesn’t spread?

She’ll get it in her eyes or on her genitals if she’s not careful! She needs to be told.

DanielleMcGivern · 05/12/2019 19:25

I was at college and a women in my classes son had it really bad, she hadn't caught it until but about 2 weeks later I got it. A couple of weeks after mine had went away my best friend had it. So yeah be extra careful. I was advised not to go into college until the scan had all cleared up.

Cakeandcustard123 · 05/12/2019 19:25

I'm such a wimp - I dont want to upset her! But watching her rub cream into it then pick up her phone or touch the door handles is making me feel a bit on edge. She keeps touching it whenever she tells someone about it too. Maybe she doesn't realise its contagious but presumably the GP will have told her. We don't have to share any equipment fortunately so maybe as long as I don't actually touch it I won't catch it from hard surfaces? I've been discretely using antibacterial hand wipes so fingers crossed......

OP posts:
Hepzibahr · 05/12/2019 19:28

Could you bring a pot of cotton buds in and suggest she uses them to apply the cream so she doesn't have to touch it with her fingers? I'm sure there's a nice way to put it to her.

Cakeandcustard123 · 05/12/2019 19:30

Oh god.....I was really hoping you would all say don't be ridiculous it's not as though she's rubbing her chin on your phone Confused

OP posts:
Troels · 05/12/2019 19:31

Tell her to wash her bloody hands. Don't be afraid if hurting her feelings, she's spreading the wealth with her touching her face and then touching everywhere else. She probably hasn't got a clue.
Impetigo can spread to anyone who touches infected skin or items that have been touched by infected skin (such as clothing, towels, and bed linens). It can be itchy, so kids also can spread the infection when they scratch it and then touch other parts of their body.

Cakeandcustard123 · 05/12/2019 19:31

That's a good idea thanks. I've tried to phrase it from a place of concern like "oh I'm worried you'll make it sore of you keep touching it" but maybe I'll just have to be a bit more direct and say "make sure you wash your hands really well after applying the cream or you might spread it elsewhere....or to me haha"

OP posts:
Northernsoullover · 05/12/2019 19:33

I had impetigo once. I 'nipped to the doctors' one afternoon leaving work early and was told to take a week off!! This is going back a few years now. I don't know if it was overkill by the GP but I certainly didn't ask for time off.

FizzyIce · 05/12/2019 19:34

My ds caught it as a baby, we have no idea where he got it from as none of us had it so put it down to touching something outside the house
Think the cotton bud thing is a good idea

Sarcelle · 05/12/2019 19:35

Could you not get HR to speak to her? If she should not be at work as PPs have said, she should not be at work.

Yummymummy2020 · 05/12/2019 19:37

You are right to use hand sanitizer and be careful as it’s true it’s super contagious! I had a friend that had it and it cleared up fairly quick but she worked on a till and the gp said he wouldn’t be surprised if handling money caused it and touching her face as it’s so dirty!!! So it certainly spreads easily!

Ohdearohdearyme · 05/12/2019 19:38

You can definitely catch it from touching a surface which has been affected by it.

Someone needs to disinfect her work area and she shouldnt have come in anyway.

nativityhumbug · 05/12/2019 19:39

I would be so cross, why is she at work???

Jodie77 · 05/12/2019 19:42

I had to keep my kids off school and nursery when they got this (and yes they managed to get it from each other even though I was being very careful about hand washing and not sharing towels).

Firstawake · 05/12/2019 19:47

Sorry if anyone else has written this.
Just tell her to be careful in case she re infects herself, tell her to wash her hands after Appling the cream, that way you are thinking of her best interests.

TopOftheNaughtyList · 05/12/2019 19:47

I would recommend to her that she only applies the cream in the bathroom so that she can wash her hands immediately before she touches anything else so that her colleagues don't get infected. Ask her if her GP explained to her how contagious it is.

ilovesooty · 05/12/2019 19:49

Someone i know had it and had to stay off work. She shouldn't be there.

greeneyedlulu · 05/12/2019 19:57

Oh God!! I'd have to call in sick myself as I wouldn't be able to cope with that. You must say something!

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