Childhood infections

Recommended exclusion periods for childhood infections

HPA 2012

DISEASE INCUBATION PERIOD PERIOD WHEN INFECTIOUS EXCLUSION PERIOD OF INFECTED PERSON EXCLUSION OF CONTACTS
Athletes Foot Unknown Whilst active lesions present No exclusion but treatment recommended None
Chicken Pox 11 – 21 days 1 to 2 days before to 5 days after spots develop For 5 days from onset of rash None *Female staff see below
Conjunctivitis Varies None No exclusion but treatment is recommended None
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) 3 – 8 weeks Someone with CMV infection may shed the virus in body fluid secretions for years None None
Diarrhoea & Vomiting Varies Whilst having symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting Until symptom free for 48 hours None
Diphtheria 2 – 5 days Variable but usually 2 weeks or less Until advised clear to return HPU to advise
E. coli 0157 1 – 6 days May be up to 3 weeks in children HPU to advise HPU to advise
Glandular Fever 4 – 6 weeks Whilst virus is present in the saliva None None
Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease 3 – 5 days From 2 – 3 days before to a few days after the appearance of rash None but contact HPU if large numbers (The presence of a rash does not indicate infectivity) None
Head lice Eggs hatch in 7 – 10 days Whilst lice or eggs remain alive on host None. Parents should be advised to treat their child None but contacts should be checked
Hepatitis A 2 – 6 weeks From 14 days before to 7 days after the appearance of first symptoms Until 7 days from onset of jaundice and the person feels well HPU to advise
Hepatitis B 6 weeks to 6 months One month before symptoms to 1 – 3 months after, however it is not infectious under normal nursery conditions (universal precautions should be adhered to) Until person feels well None
Hepatitis C 2 weeks to 6 months As Hepatitis B Until person feels well None
Herpes Simplex (cold sore) 2 – 20 days None None None
HIV 1 – 12 weeks Not infectious under normal nursery conditions (universal precautions should be adhered to) None None
Impetigo 4 – 10 days Whilst lesions present Until lesions crusted/healed or 48 hours after starting antibiotics None
Influenza 1 – 3 days Adults 1 day before until 5 days after onset Children 3 days before until 9 days after onset Until recovered None
Measles 7 – 14 days From a few days before to 4 days after the appearance of the rash 5 days from onset of rash None *Female staff see below
Meningitis (Viral) Varies Depends on guidance Until person feels well None
Meningococcal Infection (Meningitis and Septicaemia) Varies Whilst organism remains in nose or throat. Most cases of infection are acquired from carriers rather than cases Until person feels well None
Molluscum Contagiosum 19-50 days Whilst lesions are present None None
Mumps 12 –25 days (average 18) From 6 days before to 9 days after onset of illness 5 days from onset of swollen glands None
Poliomyelitis 3 – 35 days (average 7–14) Whilst organism is present in the stools As advised by HPU HPU to advise
Ringworm (scalp/body) 2 – 4 weeks Whilst active lesions present Exclusion is not required but it is recommended that treatment is commenced before return to school/nursery/childcare setting (Symptomatic pets should also be treated) None
Rubella (German Measles) 14 – 21 days 7 days before to 6 days after onset of rash 6 days from onset of rash None *Female staff see below
Scabies Few days to 6 weeks Whilst mites remain alive on the host Until 1st treatment completed None Treat contacts
Scarlet Fever 1 – 3 days Day sore throat starts to 24 hours after commencing antibiotics 24 hours from commencing antibiotics None
Shingles Reactivation Until 7 days after rash appears Exclude only if rash weeping and cannot be covered (Can lead to chicken pox in susceptible children) None
Slapped Cheek (Parvovirus/Fifth Disease) 4 – 20 days Before the rash appears (but probably not afterwards) Until clinically well None *Female staff see below
Threadworms 2 – 6 weeks Whilst eggs still being produced (Eggs can survive for 2 weeks in the environment) None Treatment advised None Treatment advised
Tuberculosis 2 – 10 weeks Only when sputum contains bacteria Until person feels well and 2 weeks after treatment started (Contact HPU for advice) None. Close contacts may be screened
Warts and Verrucae 2 – 3 months Whilst warts are present None None
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) 7 – 10 days 2 – 4 days before until 21 days after start of coughing 5 days from commencing antibiotic treatment