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Communicable Diseases/ Exclusions from School

  • To protect other students from contagious illnesses, students infected with certain diseases are not allowed to come to school while contagious. Parents of a student with a communicable or contagious disease should contact the campus health office and/or administration so that other students who might have been exposed to the disease can be alerted. Among the more common of these diseases are the following:
    • Amebiasis
    • Campylobacteriosis
    • Chickenpox (varicella)
    • Common cold
    • Conjunctivitis, bacterial and/or viral
    • Coronavirus Disease 2019
    • Diarrhea
    • Fever
    • Fifth Disease (erythema infectious)
    • Gastroenteritis
    • Giardiasis
    • Hepatitis A
    • Infections (wounds, skin, and soft tissue)
    • Infectious mononucleosis
    • Influenza
    • Measles (rubeola)
    • Meningitis, bacterial and/or viral
    • Mumps
    • Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
    • Ringworm
    • Rubella (German measles)
    • Salmonellosis
    • Scabies
    • Shigellosis
    • Streptococcal Sore Throat and Scarlet Fever
    • Tuberculosis, pulmonary
  • Bacterial Meningitis
    • State law requires the district to provide information about bacterial meningitis:
    • What is meningitis? Meningitis is an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria. Viral meningitis is common and most people recover fully. Parasitic and fungal meningitis are very rare. Bacterial meningitis is very serious and may involve complicated medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, and life support management.
    • What are the symptoms? Someone with meningitis will become very ill. The illness may develop over one or two days, but it can also rapidly progress in a matter of hours. Not everyone with meningitis will have the same symptoms. Children (over 2 years old) and adults with bacterial meningitis commonly have a severe headache, high fever, and neck stiffness. Other symptoms might include nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion, and sleepiness. In both children and adults, there may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots. These can occur anywhere on the body. The diagnosis of bacterial meningitis is based on a combination of symptoms and laboratory results.
    • How serious is bacterial meningitis? If it is diagnosed early and treated promptly, the majority of people make a complete recovery. In some cases, it can be fatal or a person may be left with a permanent disability.
    • How is bacterial meningitis spread? Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as diseases like the common cold or the flu, and they are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been. They are spread when people exchange respiratory or throat secretions (such as by kissing, coughing or sneezing). The germ does not cause meningitis in most people. Instead, most people become carriers of the germ for days, weeks, or even months. The bacteria rarely overcome the body’s immune system and cause meningitis or another serious illness.
    • How can bacterial meningitis be prevented? Maintaining healthy habits, like getting plenty of rest, can help prevent infection. Using good health practices such as covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and washing your hands frequently with soap and water can also help stop the spread of the bacteria. It’s a good idea not to share food, drinks, utensils, toothbrushes, or cigarettes. Limit the number of persons you kiss. There are vaccines available to offer protection from some of the bacteria that can cause bacterial meningitis. The vaccines are safe and effective (85–90%). They can cause mild side effects, such as redness and pain at the injection site lasting up to two days. Immunity develops within seven to ten days after the vaccine is given and lasts for up to five years
    • What should you do if you think you or a friend might have bacterial meningitis? You should seek prompt medical attention.
    • Where can you get more information? Your family doctor and the staff at your local or regional health department office are excellent sources for information on all communicable diseases. You may also call your local health department or Regional Department of State Health Services office to ask about a meningococcal vaccine. Additional information may also be found at the Web sites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov, and the Department of State Health Services, http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/.
    • *Please note that, the TDSHS requires at least one meningococcal vaccination between grades 7 and 12, and state guidelines recommend this vaccination be administered between age 11 and 12, with a booster dose at 16 years of age. Also note that entering college students must now show, with limited exception, evidence of receiving a bacterial meningitis vaccination within the five-year period prior to enrolling in and taking courses at an institution of higher education.
  • Any student excluded from school attendance for reason of communicable disease may be readmitted by one or more of the following methods, as determined by the local health authority:
    • Certificate of the attending physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant attesting that the child does not currently have signs or symptoms of a communicable disease or to the disease’s non-infectiousness in a school setting
    • Submitting a permit for readmission issued by a local health authority
    • Meeting readmission criteria as established by the commissioner of health
  • Illness During the School Day
    • Students becoming ill or injured during the school day are directed to report to the campus health office. If a student becomes ill during the school day, he or she must receive permission from the teacher before reporting to the health office. If the health office personnel determine that the child should go home, the parent will be contacted.

For more information on communicable diseases and exclusion, please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services webpage: https://dshs.texas.gov/IDCU/health/schools_childcare/Communicable-Disease-Chart-Schools-and-Childcare-Centers-072922.pdf