It's all starting to make sense now. My tired, grisly girls are not just missing their Daddy, they've been poorly.
Poor little Rosie in particular has been out of sorts for a few weeks now. Just before half term she had a horrible cough and then was miserable all over the holiday but it didn't turn into much else. Since then she has picked up a bit but has been emotionl, tearful and grumpy as have her Sisters, especially Poppy who has been super sensitive. Rosie has also complained of random aches and pains like leg pains and headaches and been falling over left, right and centre. In between she is her normal, happy self.
On Friday afternoon she came home from Preschool with rosy, red cheeks. It was worse on one side and looked as though she had bumped into something. As the day went on it got worse and by the evening her cheeks were burning. At about 4.30pm she complained of a sore neck and when I looked it was really swollen on the left side. I phoned the Doctors immediately and they were fantastic.
She was diagnosed with Slapped Cheek Syndrome, something I had never heard of before. An apparently common (but not serious) viral infection which can affect anyone at any time in their life but more often than not children aged 3 to 15, particularly during the winter months.
It is highly contagious and spreads in much the same way as colds or flu do, through coughs and sneezes. Poppy has it now (you can see the red cheeks in the photo below) and Daisy is showing signs too. Slapped Cheek can last for anything from a few days to a few weeks but by the time the cheeks are sore, the virus is already be passing out of the body.
The condition is sometimes referred to as ‘fifth disease’, and the virus which causes it (parovirus B19) affects between 50 and 80 per cent of all adults. Unless you have another condition, such as pregnancy (the infection can increase the risk of a miscarriage because the virus can cause severe anaemia in the unborn child) or the blood disorder sickle cell anaemia, treatment isn’t always necessary. We've been advised to just use children's paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Lets hope they feel better soon. At least I know they won't get it again. Once you've had the virus, your immune system develops its own defence meaning you can't catch it again….phew!!!
For now it's lots of rest and cuddles so if you don't hear from me for a few days this is why.