Contagious Illnesses & Skin Conditions
When Your Child Has an Infectious Disease:
Guidelines for Their School Attendance:
The Allegheny County Health Department Infectious Diseases Program has specific guidelines for students attending school with an infectious disease. (Please inform the school office if your child contracts one of the illnesses below). Guidelines for the most common infectious illnesses are as follows:
Chickenpox - Child is excluded until all vesicles have dried and crusted, usually after 5 days for unimmunized children and 1-4 days with breakthrough chickenpox in immunized children.
Common Cold - Excluded until able to resume normal activities.
Conjunctivitis (pink eye) - Excluded until all discharge is gone and eyes are dry or until physician determines the child to be noninfectious.
Diarrheal Diseases - Exclusion is different depending on cause, but generally child is excluded until symptoms are gone. Some require clearance from child's physician after submitting negative stool samples.
Fifth Disease - No exclusion since child is not generally contagious once rash occurs.
Flu - Excluded until symptoms are gone and child is fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
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Hand Foot and Mouth Disease - Excluded if child is ill.
Impetigo - Excluded until sores are no longer draining, and child is judged noninfectious by school nurse or physician.
Lice - Excluded until hair has been treated and child is found to be nit-free by the school nurse or physician
Meningitis (bacterial and viral) - Exclude until physician certifies able to return to school.
Mononucleosis - No exclusion; may return to school when well enough to resume normal activities.
Ringworm - Skin and scalp - Excluded until the day after treatment; body lesions must be covered.
Scabies - Excluded until the day after treatment.
Scarlet Fever/Strep Throat - Excluded until 24 hours after treatment.
Shingles - No exclusion unless lesions cannot be covered; then excluded until lesions are dry and crusted.
Whooping Cough - Exclude until 5 days from the start of appropriate medication therapy, or for 3 weeks from onset of symptoms.
"Diseases and Conditions" published by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, provides links to information regarding 115 infectious and chronic illnesses and skin conditions. Click on link 115 Diseases and Conditions