Infections and pregnancy state:
Pregnancy is a state in which the body undergoes many changes including changes in the immune mechanisms. The changes will make a pregnant person to be more susceptible and less tolerant to infectious diseases than a non pregnant female. At the same time, as the pregnant mother carries a fetus within herself, the infections that affect the mother, even without causing much illness in the mother can affect the fetus to an extent that may produce detrimental outcomes.
Pregnant mothers and the place of work:
When all these aspects are considered, the most prudent suggestion towards pregnant mothers would be to avoid places of possible infections. At the same time, taking precaution in unavoidable circumstances as well as practice of universal precautions would also be helpful in keeping the germs away. When consideration is given specifically to places of possible infections, a place where the pregnant mother may spend most of her time such as the workplace would come top in the list. Among these work places, classrooms would have to be considered as one of the places that might be more likely to cause infections among pregnant teachers than some of the other places of work.
Reasons for increased risk at a classroom:
Let us now see why the classrooms are considered to have a increased risk of contagious diseases for pregnant mothers.
-Class rooms would consist of relatively a large group of children in a confined area which means that everyone shares and breathes the same air as does the teachers of the class.
-Children are highly susceptible to contagious diseases and there may be several children in a class room which are suffering from contagious diseases at a particular time.
-When these children talk, cough, sneeze…etc, the viruses can be released in to the air that allows it to travel freely within the confines of the classroom.
-These viruses can be inhaled by other children as well as by the teachers and given the relatively low immune responses during pregnancy, the pregnant teachers have a higher risk of getting infected through the same viruses.
-Not only through air, but infected droplets can be present on surfaces such as desktops, books and other instruments as well.
-When someone touches these objects, the viruses or the particles can enter the said person through the mucous membranes. The risk is more when a pregnant teacher gets in contact with these particles than any other normal individual.
-At the same time, the teachers have to maintain close contact with the young children in the class room and this would augment the likelihood of disease spread from one person to another. Thus, when a child is infectious, pregnant teachers would be more susceptible in being infected than at other times.
Due to the above reasons of easy susceptibility, spread and many more, the class rooms have to be considered high risk area in acquiring an infectious disease for a pregnant teacher than most of the other places.