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Desperate for some ringworm hope!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have posted a question on ringworm in the Health forum, but I am soooooo upset I needed to vent and maybe get some support.

Isis is the stray we took in who happened to be pregnant and had three adorable babies. One started losing her fur, then Mom and now all have ringworm. They have it so bad my vet is keeping them to aggressively treat them.

Myself, 5 yr old son and 2 year old son now have spots. I am so down about this. I feel so out of control of the situation. I am treating us all with a prescription med. I am cleaning constantly, but am very overwhelmed. I feel like I won't be able to clean enough to get rid of all the spores. I have another cat and my sweet girl Shelby, our 12 yr old dog, who I feel is also at high risk. She is not very healthy.

I am desperately looking for some hope of our situation, that my kids will be cured of this and my home will be clean so we don't infect anyone else. Please share you stories with me. This situation is killing me. Not to mention the fate of Isis and her 3 babies. I am concerned, even if they a completely cured, no one will want them because of this. Also, can I let Isis return with assurance this won't all happen again? I want the best for everyone, but my family has to come first. Please help me. Thank you so very much.
post #2 of 4
Take a deep breath and relax.

The cat and the babies will get over the ringworm. Ringworm is a temporary problem and should not prevent addoption.

Do you or your children have any signs of ringworm in your scalp? If so, topical medication will not be enough to get rid of it. It is critical that you follow the medication schedule and do not stop it too early. Many people stop treatment as soon as it appears to be gone instead of continuing for the full 6 weeks that is usually recommended.

For cleaning, if you do a good job once and don't cross contaminate any surface, that should be fine. I would keep bed linens, towels and clothing clean as those are now the most common sources of reinfection.

We see it at school quite often and never (knock on wood) have an outbreak among other students. Because your children are younger, their ability to wash their hands and keep them clean isn't as good as with older kids.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the info....you seem to be well informed so maybe you can answer these questions. Is simply washing and drying clothes enough, or do I need antifungal detergent? I am using bleach on whites and sheets. Also, I own a small hand held steamer, will that kill the fungus?

My 5 year old only has a small spot on his arm that is fading already. Should I inform his teacher or keep him at home? I know kids attend school with this, but I am so concerned of being the source. THANK YOU!!!!
post #4 of 4
Our school policy is that if the spots are covered, it is safe to send the child to school. It is more difficult when it is in the scalp, but that requires an oral medication anyway.

How long have you been treating the areas? Depending on who you talk to, it is considered anywhere from mildly contagious to highly contagious. I have been told that after treatment for 48 hours, it is no longer contagious - but I've also been told that it is contagious for up to two weeks on treatment.
Most experts agree that you start treatment and it gets worse before it gets better. That's because ringworm is a fungus, which reproduce at a slower rate than a virus or bacteria. Most treatments for infectious diseases are effective in the reproductive stage, so it takes longer to kill off the slower reproducing diseases. that also means that any new spots were actually contracted several days to weeks ago, if that makes you feel better.

Inspect the pets and kids daily for any new spots. Don't let them get overheated - a fungal delight.
Washing in hot water should be enough. I honestly doubt that the steamer gets hot enough to kill the fungi, so I would worry more about warm, damp areas being a breeding ground for the ringworm. Do NOT share towels, clothing, brushes, etc.

And relax. I would never consider giving up my pets due to ringworm - ringworm is basically athlete's foot on a different part of the body.
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