by Adeola Balogun
A teenager in the United Kingdom is not allowed to be near pregnant women because he could harm their unborn babies.
14-year-old Bryant Hackett is a carrier of cytomegalovirus (CMV) and though it is not causing him any discomfort, it poses a grave danger to pregnant women and their foetuses.
Hence Bryant has to go to an all boys school and hasn’t seen his pregnant sister ever since she conceived.
Daily Mail reports:
Bryant, of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, said: ‘I miss my sister a lot and can’t wait until she gives birth. She is due in a few weeks.’
Bryant was diagnosed with the virus in July of last year after a rare strain of hepatitis he believes he picked up while on holiday in Majorca left him with a catalogue of health problems.
It caused him to develop liver failure and end up a with a blood platelet count of just four – the normal level is between 150 and 400.
He suffered bone marrow failure and had to have two bone marrow transplants which first required him to have chemotherapy to clear his existing bone marrow.
He was left with a weakened immune system, which caused him to contract pneumonia which his mother says almost killed him.
Bryant (pictured with his mother, Leanne) has cytomegalovirus which is usually harmless in adults but can cause deafness and learning disabilities in unborn babies
Leanne, 36, said: ‘At one point I honestly thought he was going to die.
‘He had to have chemotherapy to get rid of all of his own blood platelets, otherwise they would have clashed with the transplants.
‘Bryant lost all his hair, he was very sick. He is a teenager, and teenage boys usually like to be around girls.
‘It is a shame he can’t spend time with girls, but I am just so glad he is out of hospital.’
Bryant has been unable to attend school for the past 15 months after he was diagnosed with liver failure in October 2012.
After undergoing the bone marrow transplants last year, he spent five months in isolation in the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, receiving chemotherapy.
Following his recovery, he had been due to start at a co-ed school.
However, after doctors told him he was suffering from CMV, which is harmful to unborn babies, he has been forced to attend a boys-only school instead.
CMV is a common virus that is part of the herpes family of viruses.
It causes few symptoms in most people and so most do not know they are infected.
Once someone has been infected, the virus stays in their body for the rest of their life without usually causing problems.
However, it can sometimes cause symptoms if a person has a weakened immune system, for example, if they are having chemotherapy.
CMV can also cause serious problems if a woman becomes infected during pregnancy as this can lead to hearing loss and learning difficulties in the baby.
Bryant will start at St Aidan’s Catholic Academy this week, but says he is looking forward to getting out of the house, despite the lack of girls.
He added: ‘It was so boring when I was in hospital. I couldn’t have many visitors, in case I caught an infection.
Bryant contracted the virus because he had to have chemotherapy which lowered his immune system. He had the treatment after suffering bone marrow failure. He is pictured when his immune system was weakened
Bryant currently has to avoid his sister, Terri, 20, because she is expecting a baby. He says he really misses her and cannot wait for the baby to be born so he can see her again
‘It is not great being dangerous to girls, but at least I will be able to spend time with people my own age again.’
A spokeswoman for St Aidan’s Catholic Academy said: ‘We are going to admit Bryant to the school this week.
‘We are happy to support Bryant and his family as he integrates back into full-time education.’