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Contagious Illness in Schools

Students may be exposed to a variety of communicable diseases and illnesses during their school years. 

Below is a table showing common diseases and symptoms that often make their way into schools. Please read whether the student can continue to attend school, if you need to report the case to the NWHU and whether you need to let us know if the absence rate associated with an illness exceeds 10%.
 
Please call us any time if you need guidance on infection prevention and control measures.
 

Disease or Symptom

Can student attend school/child care centre
​Report to NWHU if disease is on reportable disease list or if absenteeism exceeds 10%

Pinkeye 

​Should be seen by a healthcare provider*

If it is viral, YES, can attend school; lots of handwashing needed!

If it is bacterial, NO. Off school until 2 days of antiobiotics are completed.

​NO

Rash (dry)
(i.e. fifth disease, roseola)

YES. if the student feels well and does not have a fever, may stay at school. Lots of handwashing needed!

If a student feels unwell or has a fever. NO.  They should stay home until these symptoms resolve and should be seen by a healthcare provider.


YES

Rash:  moist, draining or oozing lesions
(i.e. hand, foot & mouth diseaseimpetigo, chicken pox) 

Should be seen by a healthcare provider.

If it is viral, YES, can attend school; lots of handwashing needed!

If it is bacterial (e.g. diagnosed impetigo or MRSA, NO.  Should begin antibiotics before returning to school. Keep draining sores covered and lots of handwashing needed.


​YES

Cough, runny nose (i.e. colds,  
influenza, whooping cough)​ 


NO.
  Exclude until 24 hours without fever and well enough to participate in normal daily activities; may attend school with ongoing cough and/or runny nose. Lots of handwashing needed and cough etiquette practiced!

YES

Sore throat
 (i.e. strep throat 
colds, influenza)

NO.  Exclude until 24-48 hours of antibiotic treatment if prescribed (e.g. strep throat) or until 24 hours without fever and well enough to participate in normal daily activities.

Lots of handwashing needed!


YES

Mono (mononucleosis diagnosed)

YES.  May attend school if able to participate in activities. Avoid contact sports until recovered. Lots of handwashing needed!

​NO

Vomiting and/or diarrhea
(i.e. norovirus, rotavirus)​

NO.
  Should not attend school while symptomatic, and should be without symptoms for 24 hours before returning to school or child care.

YES

Lice​

YES.  Students can continue to attend school. Treatment instructions are available at local pharmacies without prescription.

​NO

Scabies​

NO.  Exclude until 24 hours after initiation of treatment. All people in same households need to be treated also, even if they have no symptoms.

​NO

Ringworm

NO.  Exclude from school until treatment has started. No gym class or swimming until fungal infection lesions are cleared.

​NO

Pinworm

YES. May attend school. Sunlight destroys eggs, so keep blinds/curtains open. Physician will prescribe treatment. Lots of handwashing needed.

​NO

Molluscum contagiosum

YES. Exclude from close contact sports, do not share equipment.

NO
*Healthcare Provider means family physician/nurse practitioner (if possible), the ER, or call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000. Those without a care provider may be able to find one at Health Care Connect.​ ​
 
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