Communicable Diseases

The danger from the presence at school of children suffering from an infectious disease, arises chiefly at two periods –

  • whilst suffering from early symptoms.
  • when convalescing from the disease and still retaining infection in their person or apparel.

As many parents do not know the communicability and exclusion periods, the details are set out below.

Measles (Notifiable)

Period of communicability 4 – 5 days before rash begins until 4th day after rash appears.
Exclude until well and for at least 4 days after the onset of the rash.
Exclude un-vaccinated children until 14 days after the onset of the rash in the last case.

Mumps (Notifiable)

Period of communicability – From 6 days before to 9 days after the onset of swelling.
Exclude until well and for at least 9 days after onset of symptoms.

Rubella – German Measles (Notifiable)

Period of communicability – From 7 days before to at least 4 days after the onset of the rash.
Exclude until at least 4 days after onset of rash.

Meningococcal Disease (Notifiable)

Infectious period: Until N. meningitidis is no longer present in nose and throat secretions.
Exclude until well.

Ring Worm

Period of communicability – As long as lesions are present and viable spores persist on contaminated materials.
Exclude until the day after treatment has commenced.


Period of communicability – until mites and eggs are destroyed.
Exclude until the day after treatment has commenced.

Head Lice and Nits

Period of communicability – While nits (eggs) and lice are live.
Exclude until the day after treatment has commenced.

Note: Head lice are an unfortunate and very frustrating aspect of school life. If detected at school, you will be contacted to take your child home. Your child may return once effective treatment has commenced. It is recommended that parents check their child’s hair frequently. For more information, visit

Impetigo (School Sores)

Period of communicability – Until sores are healed.
Exclude until day after antibiotic treatment has commenced.
Lesions (sores) on exposed skin surfaces must be covered with a waterproof dressing.

Hand, Foot and Mouth (Coxsackie A Virus)

Period of communicability – Exclude until all blisters have crusted.
Faeces remain infectious for several weeks.


Period of communicability – While eye discharge is present or, in the case of a bacterial infection, until 3 days after beginning antibiotic treatment.
Exclude until discharge from eyes has ceased or until 3 days after beginning antibiotic treatment.

Chicken Pox

Period of communicability – 2 days before rash until all blisters have crusted.
Exclude until well and for at least 5 days after the eruption first appears and until vesicles have formed crusts.
Some remaining scabs do not justify exclusion.

Parvovirus B19

Incubation period is 1 – 2 weeks but is not infectious after the rash Syndrome appears.
Exclude until well.