Fifth's Disease and You
What is it?Fifth’s Disease is a viral infection of the red blood cells often affecting elementary school age children. It usually manifests itself as a red rash on a child’s face (as if the child has been slapped) and does not appear until one to two weeks after exposure to the disease. The rash may be itchy and the infected individual can experience tiredness accompanied by a low-grade fever.
Infected individuals are contagious during the week prior to the onset of the rash. This means that teachers are often exposed to this disease without knowledge of exposure
Complications Arising From ExposureEvidence suggests that there is a higher incidence of miscarriage or spontaneous abortion when exposed to this disease. As well, individuals with chronic red blood cell disorders may be vulnerable to associated risks such as anemia. If exposed, consult your doctor immediately to discuss your circumstances.
Keep In Mind…
If you are pregnant and do not have immunity to Fifth Disease and a confirmed case becomes known in your school, you are entitled to accommodation from the employer. If you have not yet been tested to determine your immunity, you should consult with your doctor immediately to discuss next steps.
Local Health and Safety Committees should be advised of any outbreaks of the disease. Contact you Local President or Protective Services should difficulties arise.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Local President or call and speak with a Protective Services Counsellor at: 1-888-838-3836 or 416-962-3836