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Communicable Diseases

Chicken pox

Transmission: Contact with an infected person or with articles freshly soiled by mucus or sores from an infected person. Scabs do not spread the infection.

  • Incubation period: From 13 to 17 days.
  • Period of communicability: From 5 days before rash to 5 days after onset of first crop of vesicles.
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude until fully recovered, or until at least 5 days after the eruption first appears. Some remaining scabs do not justify continued exclusion.
  • Contacts: Any children with immune deficiencies (eg. leukaemia) or receiving chemotherapy should be excluded for their own protection. Otherwise do not exclude.
  • Immunisation: Available from GP at parent expense.

Conjunctivitis

Transmission: Direct or indirect contact with secretion from infected eyes.

  • Incubation period: 1 to 3 days.
  • Period of communicability: While eye discharge is present.
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude until discharge from eyes has ceased.
  • Contacts: Not excluded.

Diarrhea

Transmission: Many modes of transmission, depending on causative organism, usually through contaminated hands, food and drink. Incubation period: Hours to days.

  • Period of communicability: Days to weeks.
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude until diarrhoea has ceased.
  • Contacts: Not excluded.

Head Lice

Transmission: Contact with infected person or clothing.

  • Incubation period: 1 to 7 days.
  • Period of communicability: Until lice and nits (eggs) are destroyed.
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude until day after treatment has commenced.
  • Contacts: Do not exclude. Family contacts may be infected and should be treated. Other close contacts should be checked regularly for signs of infestation.

Measles (Notifiable)

Transmission: Spray or droplet infection, or indirectly through articles freshly soiled by discharges from nose or throat of infected person.

  • Incubation period: 7 to 18 days (usually 10 days).
  • Period of communicability: From 5 days before to 4 days after the appearance of the rash.
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude, re-admit on medical certificate of recovery, or at least 4 days after appearance of the rash, if well.
  • Contacts: Do not exclude immunised contacts. ( It is recommended that all children be immunised against measles, preferably at 12 months of age and certainly before entry into pre- school or day care centre unless they have had the disease). Unimmunised contacts should be excluded for 14 days after the appearance of rash in the last case identified in the school, unless contact was immunised within 72 hours of first exposure.
  • Immunisation: Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine from 12 months of age and between 10-16 years of age.

Mumps

Transmission: Spray or droplet infection, or indirectly through articles freshly soiled by discharges from nose or throat of infected person.

  • Incubation period: 12 to 25 days.
  • Period of communicability: From 6 days before to 9 days after the swelling.
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude for at least 9 days after onset of symptoms.
  • Contacts: Do not exclude. Recommend immunisation if not vaccinated.
  • Immunisation: Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine from 12 months of age and between 11 to 16 years of age.

Ringworm

Transmission: Contact with infected persons, articles or animals - especially cats.

  • Incubation period: 4 to 14 days.
  • Period of communicability: As long as lesions contain fungus and spores.
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude until the day after treatment has commenced.
  • Contacts: Not excluded.

Rubella (Notifiable)

Transmission: Spray or droplet infection, or indirectly through articles freshly soiled by discharges from nose or throat of infected person.

  • Incubation period: 14 to 23 days.
  • Period of communicability: From 7 days before to at least 4 days after the onset of symptoms or rash.
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude; re-admit on recovery or 4 days after onset of rash.
  • Contacts: Not excluded.
  • Immunisation: Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine from 12 months of age and between 10 and 16

Scabies

Transmission: Contact with infected person, clothing or bedding.

  • Incubation period: Itching usually begins within 48 hours.
  • Period of communicability: Until mites and eggs are destroyed.
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude until the day after treatment has commenced.
  • Contacts: Not excluded. Family contacts will probably be infested and should be treated.