Molluscum Contagiosum seems to be quite common (well it gets googled a lot, according to my blog stats). I’m glad that people get led to my previous post here which outlines some info on the skin virus AND specifically states to keep “crops” covered. Yet, I must admit that I remain a tad confused. The latest, (evidence based) guidelines for daycare centres here in Australia, (“Staying Healthy at Daycare“) state the following:
“MC is contagious and infection can occur when there is direct contact with exposed skin to the spots of someone infected.”
YET, they say that in a preschool, daycare environment: Spots needn’t be covered.
HOWEVER, I say: Kids at daycare centres and preschools are in continual contact with one another. If infection spread occurs with contact to the spots, the damn spots should be covered! (Sorry for swearing, it just slipped out…)
Molluscum Contagiosum is Molluscum that is CONTAGIOUS. Otherwise, it might as well be called Molluscum Non-Contagiosum.
Considering this Health Guideline ‘Bible’ is prepared by the NHMRC I am very surprised at this advice, and I feel uncomfortable that I must disagree with it so strongly. I did submit my thoughts on this matter when they were calling for comments to the posters, but I do not think my concerns, concerned them (so to speak). So, if anyone from the NHMRC is reading this, here’s what I would like to know: What evidence base are you relying on for this particular piece of advice? I.e, if is it that infection spread of MC within a daycare setting isn’t known to be common, I’d like to see the study that claims that. How reliable is that study? I would like to pull it apart. My main interest here is the fact that the incubation period (from time of exposure until symptoms develop) can be as long as 6 months which would make the results of any short term study less reliable as a basis for forming this piece of advice.
So, for what it’s worth, here’s what I reckon:
At the end of the day, who would the want their own children or even their own bodies (including faces) temporarily pressed up against a pus-filled crop of Molluscum Contagiosum lesions, knowing that infection spread may occur? I’m not saying this to sound gross (although it does sound a bit overdramatic), but in the rumble and tumble of playschool, bodily, including facial contact with exposed lesions of MS on an infected, non-inhibited child is a high possibility! Throw in the fact that MC can take months or even years to go away, surely no one would want to risk this contact?
And so the answer appears to be very simple and intuitive: Cover up Molluscum Contagiosum spots at daycare (and the park/playground, sports, ballet etc, but that’s another story).
For more info on Molluscum Contagiosum here is an article I wrote a couple of years ago.