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Exclusion times for infectious childhood conditions

Some medical conditions require children to be excluded from school or child care to prevent the spread of infectious diseases among other children and staff, as well as the broader community.

Minimum exclusion times are recommended under the Public Health Act 2005. Some conditions may require clearance by your doctor or local public health unit before returning to school or child care.

Conditions requiring exclusion:

  • Chickenpox (varicella)
  • Cold sores (herpes simplex)
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting
  • Diphtheria
  • Enterovirus 71 (EV71) neurological disease
  • Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease
  • Influenza and influenza-like illness
  • Measles
  • Meningitis (viral)
  • Meningitis (bacterial)
  • Meningococcal infection3
  • Mumps
  • Norovirus
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Ringworm, tinea, scabies
  • School sores (Impetigo)
  • Shigellosis
  • Streptococcal sore throat (including scarlet fever)
  • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Typhoid and paratyphoid fever
  • Worms
Condition Exclusion of person with infection Exclusion of contacts (those exposed to the person with the infection)
Chickenpox (varicella) Exclude until all blisters have dried. For non-immunised children, this is usually at least five days after the rash first appears. Exclude susceptible pregnant women and any child with an immune deficiency (eg. leukaemia) or receiving chemotherapy
Cold sores (herpes simplex) Not excluded if person can cover sores with a dressing to restrict direct contact by others and maintain hygiene practices to minimise risk of transmission. Otherwise, exclude until sores are dry. Not excluded
Conjunctivitis

Exclude until discharge from eyes has ceased unless non-infectious conjunctivitis.

Not excluded

Diarrhoea and/or  vomiting (including
• amoebiasis
• campylobacter
• cryptosporidium
• giardia
• rotavirus
• salmonella
• viral gastroenteritis but not norovirus or shigella - see separate section

Exclude until there has not been a loose bowel motion for 24 hours.

Exclude staff who handle food until they have not had any diarrhoea or vomiting for 48 hours.

If there are more than two cases with loose bowel motions in the same location, or a single case in a food handler, notify your nearest public health unit.

Not excluded
Diphtheria Exclude according to public health unit requirements Exclude according to public health unit requirements
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) neurological disease Exclude until written medical clearance confirming the virus is no longer present in the child’s bowel motions is received. Not excluded
Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)

Exclude until the person has received appropriate antibiotic treatment for at least four days.

Not excluded unless considered necessary by public health unit.
Hand, foot and mouth disease Exclude until all blisters have dried. Not excluded
Influenza and influenza-like illness Exclude until well. Not excluded
Measles Exclude for four days after the onset of the rash.

Immunised/immune contacts are not excluded. Exclude immunocompromised children until 18 days after the appearance of the rash in the last case. For non-immunised contacts, seek advice from your local public health unit.

Meningitis (bacterial) Exclude until well and has received appropriate antibiotics. Not excluded
Meningitis (viral) Exclude until well. Not excluded
Meningococcal infection Exclude until appropriate treatment has been completed.

Not excluded. Seek advice from your local public health unit about antibiotics and/or vaccination for people who were in the same location as the case.

Mumps Exclude for nine days after onset of swelling. Not excluded
Norovirus

Exclude until the person has not had any diarrhoea or vomiting for 48 hours.

Not excluded
Pertussis (whooping cough)

Exclude until five days after starting appropriate antibiotic treatment, or for 21 days from onset of coughing.

Seek advice from your local public health unit about excluding unvaccinated and incompletely vaccinated contacts.

Poliomyelitis

Exclude for at least 14 days from onset of symptoms. Written medical clearance confirming child is not infectious from doctor or public health unit is required to return to childcare/school.

Not excluded unless considered necessary by public health unit.
Ringworm, tinea, scabies Exclude until the day after appropriate treatment has commenced. Not excluded
Rubella (German measles) Exclude until fully recovered or for at least four days after the onset of rash. Not excluded. Female staff of childbearing age should check their immunity with their doctor.
School sores (Impetigo)

Exclude until person has received appropriate antibiotics for at least 24 hours. Cover weeping or crusted sores on exposed areas with a watertight dressing until at least 24 hours after commencing antibiotics and for as long as practical. Sores are not contagious if covered, or after the child has taken antibiotics for 24 hours.

Not excluded
Shigellosis Exclude until diarrhoea has stopped and two samples, taken at least 24 hours apart, have tested negative. Not excluded
Streptococcal sore throat
(including scarlet fever)

Exclude until well and has received antibiotic treatment4 for at least 24 hours.

Not excluded
Tuberculosis (TB) Exclude until written medical clearance confirming child is not infectious is received from Queensland Tuberculosis Control Centre. Not excluded
Typhoid and paratyphoid fever

Exclude until diarrhoea has stopped and two consecutive samples, taken at least one week apart, have tested negative.

Not excluded unless considered necessary by public health unit.
Worms Exclude if loose bowel motions present. Not excluded

Conditions that don't require exclusion:

Exclusion of the infected person or their contacts is not necessary for the following conditions:

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Last updated
9/12/2015 5:11:25 PM

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