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Communicable Diseases

In an effort to keep our students and staff healthy and safe, we ask that you please keep your child home from school if they are ill. 

Symptoms for School Exclusion:

  • Fever greater than 100.0
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck or headache with fever
  • Any rash with or without fever
  • Diarrhea (3 watery or loose stools in 1 day)
  • Skin lesions that are “weepy” or draining (fluid or pus-filled)
  • Colored drainage from eyes
  • Brown/green drainage from nose with fever greater than 100.0
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; serious, sustained cough.
  • Unusual behavior change, such as irritability, lethargy, or drowsiness.

 

NOTE:  Please notify your school immediately if your child has been diagnosed with a communicable (contagious) disease.  This information is kept confidential, but it will ensure the classrooms/school environment is cleaned according to health/safety guidelines.  It will also allow the district nurse to track any trends in illness outbreaks.

 

 

COMMON COMMUNICABLE DISEASES AND SYMPTOMS:

 

Influenza: Sudden onset of fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and fatigue.  Spread by direct contact with infectious body fluids and/or airborne droplets (cough/sneeze).

 

Strep Throat:  Sore throat, fever, swollen/red tonsils, tender neck glands, headache.  Spread by direct contact with infections body fluids and/or airborne droplets.

 

Staph Skin Infections (MRSA):  Wound starts out as a small pimple or boil. (It is often misdiagnosed as a spider bite).  Symptoms may include redness, warmth, swelling, pus, and pain of the infected area.  Headache and fever may be present.  It is spread by direct contact with infectious body fluids (drainage from the sores), and/or indirect contact with infected articles.  May attend school with doctor’s permission, or lesion is dry and crusted with no drainage.

 

Scabies:  Intense itching, raised small red or pus-filled sores; common between fingers, behind knees, around waist, inside of wrists, on arms. Spread by direct contact or by indirect contact with infective articles.   May attend school 8 hours after initial prescription treatment.

 

Impetigo:  Blister-like sores (often around the mouth and nose), crusted, draining, and “itching”.  Spread by direct contact with infectious body fluids (drainage from sores).  May attend school with doctor’s permission, or when lesions are dry and crusted with no drainage.

 

Fifth Disease:  Bright red cheeks, blotchy, lace-appearing rash on extremities that fades and recurs, runny nose, loss of appetite, sore throat, low-grade fever, headache.  Spread by airborne droplets.  May attend school with doctor’s permission, or when no rash or signs of illness are present.

 

Lice:  Itching of scalp; small red bite marks, often behind the ears or the back of the neck; evidence of nits (eggs) or live lice.  Spread by direct contact or by indirect contact with infective articles.  May attend school with statement from parent that treatment has begun, and no nits/live lice are present.

 

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis):  Eyes red, irritated/gritty, watery, sensitive to light; eyelids may be puffy; green/yellowish discharge.  Spread by direct contact with infectious body fluids (eye secretions) or indirect contact with infected articles.  May attend school with doctor’s permission or symptoms are gone.

 

PREVENTION:

  • Practice effective hand washing; scrubbing wet hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds and rinsing thoroughly with running water.  WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN, especially before eating!
  • Keep hands away from eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
  • Cover sores or lesions completely with dressing.
  • Keep your student home from school if they are ill.
  • Don’t share food, drinks, and utensils.
  • Don’t share articles of clothing (hats, coats…).
  • Seek medical advice for appropriate treatments.

 

**This information is for general guidance and if parents have questions, they should consult with their family physician.

 

For more information:

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)