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Note Some information on this page copied from SA Dept of Human Services web site.

Exclusion from child care, preschool and school

The spread of certain infectious diseases can be reduced by excluding a person, known to be infectious, from contact with others who are at risk of catching the infection.

The need for exclusion depends on:

  • the ease with which the infection can be spread
  • the ability of the infected person to follow hygiene precautions
  • and to a lesser extent, the severity of the disease.
Recommended exclusion periods are based on the time that a person with a specific disease or condition might be infectious to others.

Recommended non-exclusion means there is not a significant risk of infection to others. A person who is not excluded may still need to remain at home because they do not feel well.

The following are recommended minimum periods of exclusion from school, preschool and child care centres for cases of and contact with infectious diseases issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council in January 1997. In addition, suggested exclusion periods for cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, hydatid disease, Ross River virus infection, rotavirus infection, thrush (candidiasis), toxoplasmosis and warts are given.
Exclusion periods

Recommended exclusion periods from child care, preschool and school
 
Disease or condition Exclusion of case* (from school or work) Exclusion of contacts** (from school or work)
Amoebiasis
(Entamoeba histolytica)
Exclude until diarrhoea ceases Not excluded
Campylobacter infection Exclude until diarrhoea ceases Not excluded
Chickenpox Exclude until fully recovered or for at least 5 days after eruption first appears. Note that some remaining scabs are not a reason for continued exclusion. Any child with an immune deficiency (for example, leukaemia) or receiving chemotherapy should be excluded for their own protection. Otherwise not excluded.
CMV (cytomegalovirus infection) Exclusion is NOT necessary Not excluded
Conjunctivitis Exclude until discharge from eyes ceases Not excluded
Cryptosporidiosis Exclude until diarrhoea ceases Not excluded
Diarrhoea Exclude until diarrhoea ceases Not excluded
Diphtheria Exclude until medical certificate of recovery is received following at least two negative throat swabs, the first not less than 24 hours after finishing a course of antibiotics and the other 48 hours later Exclude family/household contacts until cleared to return by an appropriate health authority
Fifth disease (erythema infectiosum, parvovirus infection) Exclusion is NOT necessary Not excluded
Giardiasis Exclude until diarrhoea ceases Not excluded
Glandular fever (mononucleosis) Exclusion is NOT necessary Not excluded
Hand foot and mouth disease Exclude until all blisters are dry Not excluded
Haemophilus type b
(Hib)
Exclude until medical certificate of recovery is received Not excluded
Head lice (pediculosis) Exclude until the day after appropriate treatment has commenced Not excluded
Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis) Exclude until a medical certificate of recovery is received, but not before seven days after the onset of jaundice or illness. Not excluded
Hepatitis B Exclusion is NOT necessary Not excluded
Hepatitis C Exclusion is NOT necessary Not excluded
Herpes simplex (cold sores or fever blisters) Young children unable to comply with good hygiene practices should be excluded while the lesion is weeping. Lesions should be covered by dressing where possible. Not excluded
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV/AIDS) Exclusion is NOT necessary, however, if the person is severely immuno-compromised they will be vulnerable to other people’s illnesses Not excluded
Hydatid disease Exclusion is NOT necessary Not excluded
Influenza and influenza like illnesses Exclude until well Not excluded
Legionnaires' disease Exclusion is NOT necessary Not excluded
Leprosy Exclude until approval to return has been given by an appropriate health authority Not excluded
Measles Exclude for at least four days after the onset of the rash Immunised contacts not excluded. Non-immunised contacts should be excluded for 14 days after the first day of appearance of rash in the last case. If non-immunised contacts are vaccinated within 72 hours of their first contact with the first case they may then return to school
Meningitis (bacterial) Exclude until well Not excluded
Meningococcal infection Exclude until adequate carrier eradication therapy has been completed Not excluded if receiving rifampicin
Molluscum contagiosum Exclusion not necessary Not excluded
Mumps Exclude for nine days or until swelling goes down (whichever is sooner) Not excluded
Poliomyelitis Exclude for at least 14 days from onset. Allow entry after receiving medical certificate of recovery. Not excluded.
Ringworm/tinea Exclude until the day after appropriate treatment has commenced Not excluded
Ross River virus (epidemic polyarthritis) Exclusion is NOT necessary Not excluded
Rotavirus infection Exclude until diarrhoea and vomiting ceases Not excluded
Rubella (German measles) Exclude until fully recovered or for at least four days after the onset of the rash Not excluded
Salmonella infection Exclude until diarrhoea ceases Not excluded
Scabies Exclude until the day after appropriate treatment has commenced. Not excluded
Scarlet fever (see Streptococcal Sore Throat)  
School sores (impetigo) Exclude until appropriate treatment has commenced. Any sores on exposed surfaces should be covered with a watertight dressing Not excluded
Shigella infection Exclude until diarrhoea ceases Not excluded
Streptococcal sore throat (including Scarlet fever) Exclude until the person has received antibiotic treatment for at least 24 hours and the person feels well Not excluded
Thrush (candidiasis) Exclusion is NOT necessary Not excluded
Toxoplasmosis Exclusion is NOT necessary Not excluded
Tuberculosis (TB) Exclude until medical certificate is produced from appropriate health authority Not excluded
Viral gastroenteritis (viral diarrhoea) Exclude until diarrhoea ceases Not excluded
Warts (common, flat and plantar) Exclusion is NOT necessary Not excluded
Whooping cough (pertussis) Exclude for five days after starting antibiotic treatment Exclude unimmunised contacts aged <7 years from school for 14 days after the last exposure to infection or until they have been on antibiotic treatment for at least 5 days of a minimum 14 day course of antibiotics
Worms Exclude if diarrhoea present Not excluded

* Case: an ill person
** Contacts: those having contact with an ill person

Note: The NHMRC recommends that children who are physically unwell should be excluded from attending school, preschool and child care centres.
 


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