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my children have been diagnosed with h1n1 my youngest has had it 2 days ,i AM SYMPTOM FREE BUT I WORK AT A PRE-SCHOOL AGED 2-5 HOW LONG BEFORE i SHOULD RETURN TO WORK

By Anonymous August 14, 2011 - 1:05am
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Excellent question!

According to the CDC, for persons working in a healthcare facility to take care of patients, they recommend "...precautions should be implemented ... for 7 days after illness onset or until 24 hours after the resolution of fever and respiratory symptoms." Please know this is for the person with the virus, and since you are symptom-free, you would be advised to watch for symptom development (sneezing, coughing) and practice excellent hand hygiene (wash hands frequently, I'm sure you already do!). If you develop symptoms, you would need to remove yourself from the care of any kids immediately, as H1N1 is primarily spread through "droplet transmission" (sneezing or coughing that creates droplets in the air).

However, please note that the CDC also states, "This guidance is not intended to apply to other settings whose primary purpose is not healthcare, such as schools or worksites, because many of the aspects of the populations and feasible countermeasures will differ substantially across settings." In other words, your worksite setting (prechool) does not necessarily follow the strict "7 days after symptoms and/or 24 hours after fever has resolved" (especially since you were not the one infected).

That is the long-version answer of the most strict policies. Since you do not work in a healthcare setting, and were not infected, please check with your supervisor and ask about your worksite standards. I assume you would be required to return back to work, and take special precautions. Let us know what your supervisor says, as it is helpful for others reading this post!

Source: CDC Infection Control Seasonal Influenza.

August 14, 2011 - 6:29am
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