I have a very good nanny who has been with our family for over 10 years. Recently, she developed a persistent cough. Initially, we thought it was related to allergies but when it did not improve, we took her to hospital where they thought she might have a
The truth is, all of us have been exposed to pulmonary tuberculosis at one point or another in our lives. In fact, there are a large number of people walking around with the tuberculosis bacteria even though it is not giving them an active infection. (This group of people are known as ‘dormant carriers’ or ‘people with latent
TB’ – and even you could be one of them). Most of these dormant carriers go through their entire lives with no symptoms or complications of TB. This is because the immune system is able to suppress the TB bacteria. However, about 15 per cent of individuals go on to develop active TB.
Considering that you were living in the same household as your nanny, then your family has definitely been exposed to pulmonary TB. However, it does not automatically mean that you will all get TB. Someone with TB should be taught cough hygiene not to spread the disease to others. myth. TB can occur in anyone, including people without HIV.
The second thing is that you cannot coerce someone to go for a HIV test. It needs to be done voluntarily. You would not appreciate it if your employer forced you to go for a HIV test because you have fallen sick. My question to you is, ‘if your nanny is HIV positive, what will you do about it?’ Are you asking her to do this test because you want to support her or do you want to use it as justification for terminating her employment?
TB treatment is able to suppress the disease within two weeks of starting treatment. However, cure of the disease usually requires six months of dedicated usage of the anti-tb drugs. You can grant your nanny some paid sick leave to allow her to recuperate. With guidance from her doctor, you can devise a return to work formula.