March in Melbourne is viral heaven. All those delicious vulnerable immunological systems that have recently started daycare. Weird names such as rhinovirus, humanmetapneumovirus, coxsackie, Respiratory syncitial virus, etc… etc… are salivating over vulnerable kids. Some cruise through these, some suffer. Think coughs, colds, sore throats, sore ears and of course gastro. But on the flip side there are some positives to all these mini epidemics. Keep these in mind when you guiltily drop off your panadol soaked toddler petri dish to the daycare cesspool, and creep away, hoping they don’t ring too early ….
- For starters once exposed to a particular strain of virus, the immunological system will remember this strain and not be caught out again. This means as toddlers move through the years the number of illnesses per year drops dramatically.
- Secondly studies have shown kids that attend daycare have a 30% less chance of getting leukaemia. It is as if the immunological system requires some ‘training’ by dealing with day to day viruses, and these allows early detection and removal of cells that maybe pre leukaemic.
- Finally the early stimulation of the immunological system with viruses, different proteins, microbes, and gut flora may well be the answer in the future to lessening our allergy epidemic.
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For exclusion criteria from the NHMRC read this: Recommended minimum exclusion periods for infectious conditions for schools, pre-school and child care centres