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Domestic Helper Medical Check - New Mums pls note

  1. #1
    BigTums is offline Registered User
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    Domestic Helper Medical Check - New Mums pls note

    Hi All, I thought I would share my experience with everyone, especially mums to be. I had to send my new helper from the Philippines back home. From advice from friends with young children, I ordered a full STD medical check and headlice on my helper when she arrived just to be safe since I am expecting. This is in addition to the standard medical which only covers HIV, VD, tubercolois and Hep B, together with pregnancy etc. Unfortunately I found out she has herpes. She also had headlice but thats a small matter as its easily rectifiable with medicated shampoo.

    I am quite disturbed to say that the clinics here are shockingly ignorant and my maid agent's lab told me herpes is "only sexually transmitted" so I "shdnt worry". On my own research, if the person has a coldsore on whatever part of their body and touches my new born baby or anyone with a cut for that matter with low immunity, the person is at risk to getting this virus.

    After all this, by law I still have to pay her the one month notice salary+salary for the time she was in HK+allowances+airfaire home because the reason for me sending her home was not part of the "standard medical check". This is in addition to the fees I have already paid for her Phils insurance (non refundable) and her insurance in HK plus other odds and ends.

    Its extremely frustrating and expensive but I am trying to see the goodness in this given I found this out now. I hope this serves to help other would be employers out there.

  2. #2
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Wow. Thanks!
    Our helper is coming in a few weeks, and the agency asked if we needed an additional local health check. I said I wasn't sure -- but now I know.
    I hope you find another helper soon.

  3. #3
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    you do realise that a HUGE percentage (80% of the US population) of the population carries the herpes simplex virus and never gets a cold sore, right? and many of these carriers don't even know they have it.

    i NEVER, EVER had cold sores until after the birth of my first child. i got one within a couple of days of his birth. i got another one within a couple of days after the birth of my second child. i have had one other one in the past 4.5 years.

    do you think that means i shouldn't have contact with children? what i'm trying to say is that if you screened everyone for that virus, chances are you, yourself might have the virus and not even know it....i know. it happened to me.

    i'm assuming this is your first child and are therefore hyper-vigilant and are over-reacting a little.... but anyway, you should have yourself and your hubby tested, too, just to be on the safe side.
    Last edited by carang; 06-14-2011 at 11:17 PM.

  4. #4
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    Agree with everything Cara said!!!
    Only 20% of the people who have symptoms are aware that they actually have Herpes. I think you are overreacting BigTums, there are plenty of more serious infections a child can contract from his/ her environment once they get to about 6 months of age.

  5. #5
    burrcl is offline Registered User
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    As Cara says, a huge number of the population carry the virus without every knowing it (there a 2 types also, which is perhaps where the agency have got confused saying it can only be sexually transmitted).

    Similarly though, a huge number of the population carry HPV (human papilloma virus) also, would you have checked for this? This is what causes warts/verrucaes. 2 of the strains can cause genital warts though. Every had a verrucae as a child, or picked one up from a swimming pool/gym? Then you too are a potential carrier...

    I'm afraid I agree and think you a over-reacting here. Are you going to test everyone that your child comes in to contact with? Teachers, play group leaders, nurses and doctors even - no one is immune! Sadly these things just aren't as black and white as having/not having HIV etc.

  6. #6
    Portia is offline Registered User
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    Although I think that it wasn't necessary to terminate the helper's employment, it is worth remembering that anyone (whether mother, father, helper, relative or friend) who has a cold sore flare up should not **** a newborn baby.

    I never realised how serious the consequences could be for a newborn until I read a thread on this topic last year and did some googling. Cold sores in a newborn can result in serious illness requiring treatment with anti-virals, hospitalisation and even cause brain damage or death. In UK, there are on average six deaths of newborns every year due to the cold sore virus.

    Having said this, there is no need to panic. My helper gets cold sores from time to time, but she knows not to **** my baby when she has an active cold sore, not to touch the cold sore and to wash her hands frequently, especially before handling the baby. She is also careful how she holds the baby so that he does not touch her cold sore by accident as he flings his arms around a lot!

  7. #7
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    And in the end we are all humans. Would you tell you sister or brother or even husband not to come near your baby if you get to know they have Herpes??

  8. #8
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    never said that one shouldn't be vigilant when a cold sore appears, only that firing someone for this is a little ridiculous and much of an over-reaction. the mother herself may be a carrier and not even know it.... it also would exclude about 80% of the population from ever getting near her child. a little unrealistic.

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