Is your child infectious?

Periods of infectivity for some common infections are listed:

  • mumps: 3 days before salivary gland swelling to 7 days after
  • chicken pox: a few days before the onset of rash develops and not more than six days after first lesions appear
  • measles: from the start of fever/flu-like symptoms to 4 days after the onset of the rash
  • rubella: one week before onset of rash until 4 days after
  • whooping cough: one week after exposure until 3 weeks after onset of symptoms (but only 7 days if antibiotics given)
  • scarlet fever: 10-21 days after the rash onset (but only one day if penicillin given)
  • slapped cheek disease: for up to 14 days before the onset of the rash. A child is no longer infectious once the rash has appeared

Does your child need to stay off school?

Exclusion for five days

  • from rash onset - chickenpox, german measles (rubella), measles
  • from starting antibiotics - whooping cough (pertussis), scarlet fever
  • from onset of swollen glands - mumps

Exclusion until condition has settled for 24 hours

  • giardiasis; salmonella; shigella

Exclusion until lesions crusted or healed

  • impetigo

Exclusion from school until treated

  • scabies

Conditions where there is no recommended period to be kept away from school (once the child is well)

  • influenza; cold sores (HSV); molluscum contagiosum; ringworm (tinea); athlete's foot; hand, foot and mouth disease; roseola; slapped cheek disease (parvovirus); warts and verrucae; conjunctivitis; glandular fever; head lice; non-meningiococcal meningitis; thread worm; tonsillitis