Noun: the widespread prevalence of a disease in a community.
This week our spelling list is looking at words ending with the suffix -ic, including historic, specific, and epidemic.
When you work in a primary school there are constant outbreaks of colds and flus. Lately, however, the stakes have been raised. Several weeks ago there was a nasty scare for three pregnant teachers when a case of Chicken Pox began doing the rounds. Any itch and you were immediately sent home. Itch. Itch. Itch. It’s hard not to itch in situations like that. Shortly after that, teachers and children began dropping like flies due to a 48hr vomiting bug. This week it’s Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). HFMD spreads like most viruses; coughing, unwashed hands, etc, and is causing children in Foundation Stage to come down with blisters, rashes and mouth ulcers. Sigh.
The difficulty in the school environment is that it doesn’t matter how much you wash your hands and take precautions, there will always be those children who cough without covering their mouth, leave their used tissues all over their desk/ the floor and contaminate every surface with unwashed hands. Worse still is that I have to administer First Aid, so first stop for children feeling sick in my class is to run to me and splutter their germs all over whilst they complain about their various ailments. Normally it’s not too bad; but having to sit with kids while they throw up in the bathroom waiting to be collected or having to clean and bandage burst blisters… Not my favourite thing. There’s a reason I didn’t follow in the footsteps of my recently graduated Doctor friend, Dr F. Not my thing.