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Medical Information

Chickenpox

Transmission: Airborne or droplet; direct or indirect contact with fluid from vesicles of an infected person.

  • Incubation period: Average 10–21 days
  • Period of communicability: From 2 days before rash appears to 5 days after, when vesicles have formed crusts. See Appendix 1 for immunisation recommendations
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude for at least 5 days after vesicles (rash) appear and until vesicles have formed crusts. Note that crusts alone do not warrant exclusion
  • Treatment: Antiviral treatment available
  • Contacts: Refer any immunosuppressed children (e.g. leukaemia patients) to their doctor. Do not exclude other contacts
  • Immunisation: Non-immune pregnant women should see their doctor urgently as immunisation may prevent chickenpox in contacts within 5 days of exposure. Post exposure immunisation can also be offered to other non-immune contacts to prevent disease

Conjunctivitis

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

  • Incubation period: 24 to 72 hours
  • Infectious period: While eye discharge is present
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude until discharge from eyes has ceased
  • Contacts: Not excluded.

Diarrhoea

Transmission: Faecal-oral, food-borne and animal faecal-oral

  • Infectious period: Days to weeks
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude until 24 hours after diarrhoea has ceased. If ill person works or attends a child care, exclude until 48 hours after diarrhoea has ceased
  • Contacts: Not excluded.

Head Lice

Transmission: Head-to-head contact with an infested person.

  • Incubation period: 7 to 10 days.
  • Infectious period: Until lice and eggs (nits) are killed
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude until after treatment has commenced and live lice removed
  • Contacts: Do not exclude. Family contacts may be infected and should be treated. Other close contacts should be checked regularly for signs of infestation.

Impetigo (School sores)

Transmission: Direct contact with skin lesions

  • Incubation period: Usually 4 to 10 days
  • Infectious period: As long as there is discharge from untreated lesions
  • Exclusion: Exclude for 24 hours after antibiotic treatment commenced. Lesions on exposed skin surfaces should be covered with a waterproof dressing. Young children unable to comply with good hygiene practices should be excluded until the sores are dry
  • Treatment: Antibiotic treatment available from a Doctor.

Influenza (Flu)

Transmission: Airborne or droplet

  • Incubation period: Usually 1 to 4 days
  • Infectious period: Usually 1 day before onset of symptoms until 7 days after
  • Exclusion: Exclude until all symptoms are resolved
  • Treatment: Varies according to symptoms.

Measles (Notifiable)

Transmission: Airborne or droplet

  • Incubation period: 8 to 14 days (usually 10 days)
  • Infectious period: 24 hours prior to onset of symptoms (e.g. runny nose, cough) until 4 days after the onset of rash. (When symptoms are undefined, infectious period should be considered as 4 days before onset of rash)
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude for 4 days after the onset of the rash, in consultation with public health unit staff
  • Contacts: Do not exclude vaccinated or previously infected contacts. Susceptible (unimmunised, non-immune) contacts should be excluded until 14 days after the onset of the rash in the last case occuring at a facility. If susceptible contacts are vaccinated with MMR vaccine within 72 hours of their first contact with the first case, or Immunoglobulin within 6 days of exposure, they may return to school following vaccination. Contact management will be coordinated by public health unit staff
  • Immunisation: Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine from 12 months of age and between 10-16 years of age.

Mumps

Transmission: Airborne or droplet; direct contact with saliva from an infected person.

  • Incubation period: About 12 to 25 days (usually 16 to 18 days)
  • Infectious period: 2 days prior to 5 days after parotitis (swollen salivary glands)
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude for 5 days after onset of symptoms. Consult with your public health unit staff
  • 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.

Norovirus Gastroenteritis (Gastro)

Transmission: Contact with infected person, food, vomit or stool particles

  • Incubation period: from when the person feels ill until at least 48 hours post vomiting/ diarrhoea
  • Period of communicability: as above
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude for a minimum of 48 hours after symptoms have ceased
  • Contacts: Not excluded.

Ringworm

Transmission: Skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, infected animals or contaminated articles

  • Incubation period: Varies with the site of infection
  • Inection period: As long as lesions are present
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude until person has received anti-fungal treatment for 24 hours
  • Contacts: Not excluded.

Rubella (Notifiable)

Transmission: Airborne or droplet; direct contact with contaminated nose or throat secretions; mother-to-foetus.

  • Incubation period: 14 to 21 days. Usually 17 days.
  • Infectious period: From 7 days before to at least 4 days after the onset of rash
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude for 4 days after onset of rash
  • Contacts: Do not exclude
  • Immunisation: Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine from 12 months of age and between 10 and 16

Scabies

Transmission: Skin-to-skin contact with an infested person or contact with infested clothing, towels or bedding.

  • Incubation period: 2 to 6 weeks before onset of itching if not previously infested. People who have been previously infested may develop an itch 1 to 4 days after re-exposure
  • Infectious period: Until mites and eggs are destroyed.
  • Exclusion from school: Exclude until the day after treatment has commenced.
  • Contacts: Not excluded. Family contacts should be treated.