Author Topic: Need advice from medical pros regarding teacher traveling abroad  (Read 434 times)

intellectsucks

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Need advice from medical pros regarding teacher traveling abroad
« on: September 26, 2018, 08:16:42 AM »
A teacher in my three year oldís pre-school was recently travelling in India and is scheduled to return next week.  I know that the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) recommends some additional vaccines and health precautions when traveling to India but I have some questions:
1. Are there serious illnesses that are common in India but not the U.S. that are transmitted through human contact?  Is it prudent to keep my daughter home for a couple of days when this teacher returns to work?
2. Is it appropriate to address these concerns with the school?  If there is a risk (even a small one) of infection, then surely the school should be have procedures in place to address this or be made aware of the risk if they donít.  Right?
Iím not trying to be insensitive, I just legitimately donít know enough about the risks involved.  A friend of mine works on a cruise ship that makes port in Mexico, and our doctor recommended we keep the kids away from him for 3 or 4 days after he comes home in case heís carrying any weird bugs.  Thanks in advance for the advice and insight.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Need advice from medical pros regarding teacher traveling abroad
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2018, 09:30:48 AM »
It's very strange that your pediatrician told you to avoid someone who traveled to Mexico for the sake of your kid's health.  That is...not evidence based...to put it mildly.

This would not be a blip on my rader, honestly.  Short of some sort of known exposure or epidemic (SARS, H1N1 flu), travel does not usually present a health risk to casual contacts of people who have traveled recently.  I have a degree public health and have an above average familiarity with infectious disease protocols and I've never even heard of limiting contact with others post travel outside of known contacts with ill people.

If you're still concerned, I'd see if there's someone at a travel medicine clinic you can talk to about your concerns.  They should be much more well versed in the actual risks than a general pediatrician.

Edited to add: the only precaution I would expect the school to take is to ask the staff member to stay home if they have symptoms of any illness.  If they are asymptomatic, I would not expect any precautions.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 09:40:16 AM by SimpleCycle »

FireHiker

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Re: Need advice from medical pros regarding teacher traveling abroad
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2018, 09:50:58 AM »
Goodness, half my neighborhood travels to India and Mexico on a regular basis. This would absolutely not be a concern for me at all unless I had a child with some sort of autoimmune disorder or some specific reason they can't be immunized in general.

The only concern I would have would be going TO India or Mexico and not being careful with food/water consumption if I had a small child.

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Need advice from medical pros regarding teacher traveling abroad
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2018, 10:05:45 AM »
MD here. I agree, totally not evidence based. There are communicable diseases everywhere. Unvaccinated children in the school are a far greater risk to your children than any teacher who has traveled internationally. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of risk, disease rates, and India/Mexico in this question. I am very surprised that your pediatrician would have recommended keeping your kids away from someone who's been to Mexico and who's otherwise asymptomatic - that is not a recommendation that is supportable by medical evidence for healthy, vaccinated children.

mxt0133

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Re: Need advice from medical pros regarding teacher traveling abroad
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2018, 10:18:40 AM »
I vote to keep the kid home anyway to make yourself feel better.  I don't think this is a logical decision for you.  Spend time with the kids have fun go on a field trip, then go see the teacher in person and ask them about their trip and see if they do have any kind of symptoms, you might want to wear one those hazmat masks to minimize the chances of you catching anything.  That should help you make a decision on when to bring the kid back to school.

That was tongue in cheek by the way.  I have traveled to third world countries with my children when they where only a few months old.  Unless you are in the jungle or hanging around sick people, your children will be fine.  I have greater fears of getting sick when I bring my kids to the doctors office or ER.