Communicable Diseases


Communicable Diseases

Communicable Diseases

Please consult your family's health care provider should your student exhibit signs of illness. To avoid complications, as well as to protect the health of fellow students and staff, students having the following communicable diseases should remain out of school for the specified length of time. Please notify your child’s school nurse if your child is diagnosed with any of the following:

PINKEYE (Conjunctivitis)
Incubation: viral- hours to days, bacterial- 24-72 hours. Redness of eye, discharge (watery with viral, often thick or cloudy with bacterial), matted eyelashes, burning, itching. Exclude if eye discharge is noted or until student completes 24 hours of antibiotics if ordered.

Incubation: 3 weeks to 3 months. Anal itching with disturbed sleep, irritability and local irritation due to scratching. Communicable as long as worms are present. Exclude until adequately treated by physician. Children should wash their hands after toileting and before meals. Do not allow sharing of bed clothing.

Incubation: Scalp 10-14 days; Skin 4-10 days; Feet unknown. Scalp - scaly patches of temporary baldness, infected hairs are brittle and break. Skin - flat, ring-like rash, inflamed, may itch or burn.
Feet - scaling and cracking of skin especially between toes, blisters may be present, filled with watery fluid. Communicable as long as lesions are present. Exclude until 24 hours of appropriate medical treatment is completed. To prevent spread, no contact sports until lesions disappear.


Incubation: First infestation 2-6 weeks; subsequent 24 hours. Intense itching, especially at night. Burrows under skin resemble wavy lines, often found in space between fingers, on inside of wrist, at elbows, armpits and beltline. May have raised, fluid-filled blisters. Communicable from beginning of infestation through completion of first treatment. Second treatment required in 7-10 days in most instances. Exclude until student and all their household contacts are treated once.

STREP THROAT/SCARLET FEVER (Streptococcal Infections)
Incubation: 1-3 days. Fever, red throat, tender and swollen glands. Symptoms are variable and may begin with headache or stomachache. With scarlet fever, may also have rash on skin and inside of mouth, strawberry tongue. High fever, nausea and vomiting may occur. Communicable until 24 hours of antibiotic therapy is completed. Exclude until 24 hours of antibiotic therapy is completed.

Incubation: 7-21 days, usually 10 days. Cough, worse at night with characteristic whoop developing in 2 weeks. Spells of coughing may end with vomiting. Fever present with watery nasal discharge. Transmitted through direct contact with respiratory secretions of infected person. Communicable 7 days after exposure for as long as 3-4 weeks after onset of whooping in untreated children; 5-10 days after onset of appropriate treatment. Exclude until 5 days after onset of antibiotic therapy or until symptoms have cleared.

Incubation: 10-21 days. Skin rash, which progresses to blisters, then scabs. Eruptions occur in crops, so all three stages may be present simultaneously. Covered body areas are often most affected. Communicable 1-2 days before rash appears, until ALL lesions have crusted, usually 7 days. May return to school when all scabs are crusted.

Incubation: 2-9 days depending on causative agent. Acute respiratory infection involving epiglottis, larynx, trachea and bronchi. May cause respiratory distress ranging from mild to severe. Cough has barking or brassy harsh quality. May notice a high-pitched sound on inhalation. Communicable during duration of disease. Exclude when fever present or if child is uncomfortable. Medical attention is necessary as major complications can occur.

FIFTH DISEASE (Erythema Infectiosum)
Incubation: 4-14 days, usually 12-14 days. Bright red rash usually beginning on face (slapped cheek appearance), spreads to trunk and extremities with a lacy appearance. Generally clears in one week, recurs for up to one month if person gets warm or upset. Communicable 5 days before rash appears and to a lesser extent 2 days after rash appears. Exclusion is not appropriate once diagnosis is known unless child is febrile or uncomfortable. Pregnant women, if exposed, should consult their physician regarding potential risks.

HAND, FOOT, MOUTH DISEASE (Coxsackievirus)
Incubation: 3-6 days. Raised rash, particularly on palms, soles and area around mouth. Progresses to blisters, then scabs. Also causes sores inside mouth, making swallowing painful. Communicable virus found in stool while sores are present and for about one month after they disappear. Oral secretions are infectious while sores are present. Exclude when fever present or if child is uncomfortable. Wash and disinfect or discard articles soiled with nose, throat or fecal discharge. Give careful attention to hand washing after handling these items.

Incubation: 2-10 days, occasionally longer. Blister-like, pus-filled bumps which progress to yellowish crusted, painless sores with irregular outlines. Itching is common. Usually found on exposed skin areas. Communicable as long as drainage is present. Exclude from school until 24 hours of treatment by physician completed and sores begin to heal.

Incubation: The life cycle is composed of 3 stages: eggs, nymphs, and adults. Under optimal conditions, the eggs of lice hatch in 7-10 days. The nymphal stages last 7-13 days. The egg-to-egg cycle averages 3 weeks. Symptoms include itching, irritation of scalp, and sensation of something moving in the hair. Lice may be seen; they are sesame-seed sized grayish or brown insects. The eggs, or nits, are white to yellow brown in color, and firmly attach to the hair shaft. They are commonly found at the nape of the neck, around the ears, and at the crown of the head. Lice can be communicable as long as live lice remain on the head. Therefore, your child shall be sent home from school and excluded until application of an effective pediculicide – (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends Permethrin products –NIX) has occurred. Your child must be examined by the School Nurse before returning to the classroom. Please call your School Nurse for further instructions.

Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools support the position that nit-free policies and practices
are not effective or necessary in controlling lice outbreaks and may be disruptive to the
education process. The school nurse is the most knowledgeable professional in the
school community and so ideally suited to provide education and anticipatory guidance
to the school community on 'best practices' of pediculosis management. The goals of
the school nurse are to contain infestation, provide appropriate information for
treatment and prevention, and minimize school absence.


1. The school nurse/health aide will be responsible for checking students for head
2. Privacy and confidentiality of the student will be maintained at all times.
3. Using ample lighting, observe the scalp and hair for evidence of live lice. If
diagnosis is confirmed, notify parent to pick the child up, as treatment
options/policies will need be explained.
4. Ascertain if siblings are also in the district, and notify appropriate nurse to screen
them. Close associates or friends of the affected child may be screened at the
discretion of the nurse.
5. Duplicate and disperse treatment information to the parent upon dismissal of the
6. Re-inspect child's head upon return to school for evidence of compliance with
initial treatment regime and lice-free determination.
7. A follow-up inspection will be performed 7-10 days post-initial treatment.
8. The nurse may determine if special procedures need to be undertaken for
persistent or recurrent cases. These procedures may include supervision of
treatment in the home; referral to social worker or appropriate agencies; or
classroom notification/inspection. The appropriate Principal and the Director of
Pupil Services will be notified in the event any special procedure is undertaken.
9. Maintain Head Lice Log. In the event greater than or equal to 20% of the students in a classroom or grade have experienced infestation during a one month period, a letter may be
sent home to alert parents to the presence of lice and to recommend checking
for infestation.
10.The nurse will conduct educational and informational processes for staff and
families as appropriate. 

Disclaimer: The distribution of this notice is not mandated by school policy or state law and is done so at the discretion of the school health team as a professional courtesy.

Source: Ohio Department of Health
Revised 12-2005

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