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Advice please: Helper with Herpes

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shobhadsa
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Advice please: Helper with Herpes

Postby shobhadsa » Sun, 28 Sep 2014 1:22 am

Hi,

I need some advice. This afternoon, my helper of 8 months told me that she had very painful sores / boils on her genitals... She had her 6 monthly medicals in July.. and it was all in order (I would assume so.. did not hear from MOM stating otherwise)......I took her to KK hospital where the doctor examined her and has said that it is almost certainly a case of herpes... The test results will be out in a week's time.. but in the meanwhile, she has been given 10 days worth of medication to treat genital herpes.

The doctor mentions that it could very well be HSV1 which has occurred in the genital region or it could be HSV2 or simply some bacterial infection.. but the doctor seemed fairly sure it was Herpes...

On being asked by the doctor, my helper maintained that she was not sexually active. When we returned home, I very delicately checked with her about it.. and she still maintains that she is not sexually active.

I am not passing any form of judgement.... don't get me wrong.. what she does on her days off.. is completely her business.. what I am now worried about is my child... I don't want my child to pick up HSV... and I have my mother visiting us from overseas frequently every year (she has recently had a mastectomy & has just finished her chemo sessions... so has very low immunity)......

I will ensure my helper gets good medical care to ensure she recovers.. but I am also very aware that you never really fully recover from Herpes and that it can keep recurring...I am really hoping it is some form of bacterial infection and not Herpes..

The hospital said that depending on the test results, they would inform MOM who would be in touch to do a "contact tracing". What does this mean? What is the MOM / ICA's view on Herpes? does this fall under their categorization of STDs and if so, does this usually mean a cancellation of the work permit?

Could someone please guide me on what to do? please..I would really appreciate if there are no comments about "stop having a maid.. do your own housework"..... for us having a maid is not a luxury.....Both my husband & I work full-time.. and frankly if I had reliable after-school care.. I would happily not have a maid.....

Has anyone encountered a situation like this earlier?.. Thanks in advance....

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Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 28 Sep 2014 2:34 am

Wow. :shock: I had a hard time telling if this is a joke or not...

Your kid and parents will not get herpes from your helper unless they physically touch the infected area during an outbreak. Or, if they touch somewhere that your helper has touched with her "infected area" and not cleaned. If either such scenario I mention are happening, you have way way more serious problems.

That said, Herpes is not serious. Just do a few Googles. Something like 1/3rd- 1/4th of the world's population has it. Here is a sample page I found quite quickly:
http://www.dynamiclear.com/herpes-blog/ ... tatistics/

My guess is that the percentage is significantly higher than mentioned above in Asia/Singapore given the existence of Geylang, Karaoke, Massages, etc.

Realize your helper could have had it for years, and just now started having symptoms.

Honestly, this stuff is taught to everyone of high school age in the US. I assumed in most non-third world parts of the world too. Am I wrong? :???:

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Postby PNGMK » Sun, 28 Sep 2014 10:18 am

It sounds as though she has had a serious relapse... (not a fresh infection).

It's your call but this will all be over in a week or two or three. Have her use a separate toilet / bathroom, disinfect the toilet seat after using it, wash her clothes separate. Make sure her bed is not shared with another house hold member and have her wash the bedding a bit more frequently with napisan or similar. I'd buy her fresh underwear and throw it out when she's cleared up.

I know the ZZM said the risk of contamination is low (and he's right) but I also understand your concern and hence why I make these suggestions which will sound a bit over the top perhaps but will give you more peace of mind.

Your helper should be commended for telling you about this, rather than hiding it and risking cross infection.

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Postby Hannieroo » Sun, 28 Sep 2014 11:09 am

The poor woman. Good on you for handling it well, it could happen to any of us.

You've already had good advice, contact tracing is when they ask for a list of recent sexual partners but this really could be 10 years old.

You can get daily Meds to prevent relapse.

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Postby PNGMK » Sun, 28 Sep 2014 11:42 am

Re:

The hospital said that depending on the test results, they would inform MOM who would be in touch to do a "contact tracing". What does this mean? What is the MOM / ICA's view on Herpes? does this fall under their categorization of STDs and if so, does this usually mean a cancellation of the work permit?

I suspect it will depend on whether the report determines the outbreak is from a previous infection or a recent incident. Yes, herpes is probably classed as an STD but maybe not one of the ones that result in a WP cancellation (such as HIV which would result in a cancellation). If your helper insists she was not sexually active while in Singapore (and therefore this infection occurred from contact prior to her employ) she maybe ok but honestly I don't think any of us know what MOM will do. The decision may be left up to you by MOM therefor you need to support your FDW and ensure the MOM know you believe her explanation and that you are willing to keep her on. [/url]

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Postby shobhadsa » Sun, 28 Sep 2014 7:48 pm

Thanks all for your inputs.. PNGMK - the measures you called out were exactly what the doctor also indicated...

hopefully.. things resolve in a couple of weeks... thanks..

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Postby ecureilx » Sun, 28 Sep 2014 9:33 pm

shobhadsa wrote:Thanks all for your inputs.. PNGMK - the measures you called out were exactly what the doctor also indicated...

hopefully.. things resolve in a couple of weeks... thanks..


herpes can be asymptomatic and from a medical perspective (not mine, but my other half's) it is not advisable to let her handle toddlers

look up on the internet, as Genital Herpes may also be transmitted to eyes, and for toddlers with weak immunity can lead to complications/death, as the helper does bathe / clean toddlers and in the process can infect.

I am not scaring you.

from what I know, the infected person also maybe asymptomatic until a total outbreak has happened. use of antiseptic / alcohol etc can lower the spread but cannot be ruled out totally.

maybe Taxico can provide a better educated reply and clarification

for MOM, they only concern with HIV, and other forms of STD aren't much of concern for them

btw, your helper may have just had one partner who may have infected her without her partner even knowing he is infected.

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Postby shobhadsa » Sun, 28 Sep 2014 11:58 pm

@ecureilx - thanks.. I appreciate the concern and i am not mis-understanding what you have called out... What you have called out is exactly what I read up on the internet last night... that's the reason why I actually wrote the post asking if anyone has had ay direct experience in dealing with Herpes in the household.... I have a toddler who was born pre-term and my mother who currently has extremely poor immunity....

anyways, will wait to get the medical results before figuring out next steps....let me also see what MOM has to say....

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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:18 am

shobhadsa wrote:@ecureilx - thanks.. I appreciate the concern and i am not mis-understanding what you have called out... What you have called out is exactly what I read up on the internet last night... that's the reason why I actually wrote the post asking if anyone has had ay direct experience in dealing with Herpes in the household.... I have a toddler who was born pre-term and my mother who currently has extremely poor immunity....

anyways, will wait to get the medical results before figuring out next steps....let me also see what MOM has to say....


how old is your baby?

if Taxico didn't reply by tomorrow, I will get some more information for you

I remember the risk depends on which Herpes type she was infected with ... did you find out?

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Postby shobhadsa » Mon, 29 Sep 2014 1:43 am

Ecureilx....

Thanks.. Really appreciate the help...

She is actually over 5 yrs old... My bad... I keep thinking she is still a baby :-). Not yet completely independent though.... Still needs help with having a bath... Which my husband & I have taken over just to keep on the safe side...

The medical results are not yet ready... The hospital mentioned it would take a week.

Btw, this evening my helper tells me that she has had oral herpes about 3 times in the past!!! So my guess is it could be HSV1 which has manifested this time in the genitals... I am just guessing...

I think I need to take my child to her pediatrician - she has had eye infections twice in the last 4-6 weeks.. We had thought it was just a normal eye infection that kids pick up all the time... The GP also did not think too much about it... But given this development.. I think I would just prefer to check with the pead for his opinion...

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Postby PNGMK » Mon, 29 Sep 2014 9:44 am

I've had "oral herpes" for as long as I can remember (mouth ulcers). It's pretty common and I somehow picked it up as a kid.

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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:11 am

PNGMK wrote:I've had "oral herpes" for as long as I can remember (mouth ulcers). It's pretty common and I somehow picked it up as a kid.


from the bit I know, oral herpes isn't nasty as genital herpes, or HSV-1

OP needs proper medical guidance.

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Re: Advice please: Helper with Herpes

Postby taxico » Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:45 am

shobhadsa wrote:...KK hospital where the doctor examined her and has said that it is almost certainly a case of herpes...

...what I am now worried about is my child... I don't want my child to pick up HSV... and I have my mother visiting us from overseas frequently every year (she has recently had a mastectomy & has just finished her chemo sessions... so has very low immunity)......

Could someone please guide me on what to do?


whao. calm down.

okay, if you have very young children, i would strongly advise against retaining your house help unless she is to have minimal-no physical contact with the child to reduce a risk of spreading the virus (whichever sort of HSV).

my parents' house help has herpes BUT the house help goes for very regular check-ups, my mother's also a retired doctor, and the help has her personal bathroom/toilet. the reason my mom employed her was because no one else wanted to... AND my mom was confident she (the employer) could handle it in a household of 2 retirees + the house help.

if you want a peace of mind you need only to replace your house help, otherwise there will always be a risk of of her inadvertently passing the virus on. a newborn will certainly be more susceptible to the damages the virus can inflict... infants with herpes are associated with a very high mortality rate (usually due to some form of organ and/or brain damage).

having said that, it is probably uncommon if the house help is mature and responsible enough to know what to do, and when not to do certain things (kissing, personal hygiene, medication, etc).

i'm sorry, but only you can make the call.
Last edited by taxico on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby taxico » Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:51 am

shobhadsa wrote:...She is actually over 5 yrs old... My bad... I keep thinking she is still a baby...

I think I need to take my child to her pediatrician - she has had eye infections twice in the last 4-6 weeks.. We had thought it was just a normal eye infection that kids pick up all the time... The GP also did not think too much about it... But given this development.. I think I would just prefer to check with the pead for his opinion...


that is a good idea as it can be difficult to distinguish them when most presentations are subclinical...

watch out for any "crustiness"...
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Re: Advice please: Helper with Herpes

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:50 pm

taxico wrote:okay, if you have very young children, i would strongly advise against retaining your house help unless she is to have minimal-no physical contact with the child to reduce a risk of spreading the virus (whichever sort of HSV).

my parents' house help has herpes BUT the house help goes for very regular check-ups, my mother's also a retired doctor, and the help has her personal bathroom/toilet. the reason my mom employed her was because no one else wanted to... AND my mom was confident she (the employer) could handle it in a household of 2 retirees + the house help.

if you want a peace of mind you need only to replace your house help, otherwise there will always be a risk of of her inadvertently passing the virus on. a newborn will certainly be more susceptible to the damages the virus can inflict... infants with herpes are associated with a very high mortality rate (usually due to some form of organ and/or brain damage).

having said that, it is probably uncommon if the house help is mature and responsible enough to know what to do, and when not to do certain things (kissing, personal hygiene, medication, etc).

i'm sorry, but only you can make the call.


OP's child is 5 year old, anyway.

shobhadsa, there you have it ... the decision is yours to make ...


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