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Mark 007  
#1 Posted : 14 June 2017 12:01:13(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mark 007

Hi

I have a scenario pregnant woman on site and also an employee who has come to work with shingles is this allowed or should the woman with shingles be sent home ?

doctor has given her antibiotics and sent her to work with out knowledge however of the preganant worker 

thanks

Mark

DaveBridle  
#2 Posted : 14 June 2017 12:26:54(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
DaveBridle

My understanding is that shingles is a virus.  I would therefore look at sending the employee who has been diagnosed with shingles back to their GP on the understanding that they inform them of the current situation of other employees e.g. expectant mother.

You have a duty to protect all employees health and whilst prgnancy is a condition, send them home could be viewed discrimitory.  However if the GP deems the person diagnosed with shingles fit-for-work based on the pregnancy issue, then you must look at doing all that is reasonable to protect everbody in the workplace.

If you cannot implement controls to keep both at work, then maybe sending one or both home is appropriate.  Also factor in other staff who may feel they are impacted upon.

SteveL  
#3 Posted : 14 June 2017 12:36:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
SteveL

If you have never had chickenpox you can catch it from someone who has shingles. 

Shingles can be passed on look at 

https://beta.nhs.uk/conditions/shingles?WT.mc_id=organic_split

hilary  
#4 Posted : 14 June 2017 13:11:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
hilary

I would check who has had chicken pox within the area that this person works.  As SteveL says, you can catch chicken pox from shingles but you cannot catch shingles from chicken pox or shingles from shingles.  The only risk is chicken pox and if everyone has had it then there is no problem with her working.  Of course, she may be feeling quite ill which would be an issue but would not affect anyone else.

It is unlikely the baby will catch chicken pox if the mother doesn't have it.

gramsay  
#5 Posted : 14 June 2017 15:20:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
gramsay

This isn't the forum to be asking the question - you need advice from a public health body, not occupational health people.

It's a good question though - I had shingles a few years ago and remember going through this. Good luck.

boblewis  
#6 Posted : 14 June 2017 15:23:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
boblewis

As a recent sufferer from a bout of shingles I can only recite what my GP has said

1) The phase where there are vesicles on the rash is when transmission can occur by contact with any exudate

2) Covering the rash to prevent potential contact with the vesicles or items that may be touched by the vesicles is sufficient to prevent transmission

3)Antibiotics have no purpose as it is a viral attack.  Anti viral drugs exist but have to be commenced within 72 hours of the very first signs, which are likely to be a non specific pain  before the rash appears.  The appearance of the rash is generally 72 hours + after the first pain

4) Contact with Shingles vesicles/exudate can cause chicken pox for those who have not had it. 

5) It can trigger a shingles attack in those who have had chicken pox but this is rare. 

Edited by user 14 June 2017 15:25:27(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Mark 007  
#7 Posted : 14 June 2017 17:44:55(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mark 007

hi 

thanks for all the advice , regarding not coming under health and safety surely this classes a welfare of employess ,? A wealth of answers to think about to make an informed judgement, at this stage we have sent the employee with shingles home with full pay ,until we establish with pregnant worker her history regarding chicken pox .

A difficult one i wonder what the food industry would do with this scenario ?

Thank you all again for the advice much appreciated

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