• Communicable Diseases

    For Health Services Information on Communicable Diseases, click here.  
    Informational Sheets are also available at the bottom of this page.
     
    Chickenpox
    Chickenpox is a common childhood disease. It is caused by a virus and can spread from child to child.  Please notify the school if your child has chickenpox.  Chickenpox usually begins with a fever, headache, crankiness, and loss of appetite. A day or two later a red rash with blisters appears. Most children have had a shot to prevent them from getting this disease. Sometimes children who have had the shot still get chickenpox, however it is generally very mild and the rash might be the only symptom. These children are contagious and should stay home until the blisters scab over, lesions are dry, and no new lesions or fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine. Please contact your healthcare provider if you are concerned about any symptoms your child is experiencing.  Never use aspirin or aspirin-containing medications to treat the symptoms of chickenpox, influenza-like illnesses, flu, viruses or colds, etc.  According to the National Reye's Syndrome Foundation, research has shown an associated "link between Reye's Syndrome and the use of aspirin and other salicylate containing medications" and products.  
     
    Please do NOT send your child to school if he or she gets a rash.  All undiagnosed/undetermined rashes will be sent home. 
     
    Diarrhea
    Students must be free of diarrhea for 24 hours without the use of diarrhea suppressing medications.
     
    Fever
    Students with fever of 100 degrees or higher will be excluded from school until fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.
     
    Fifth's Disease
    Excluded until free of fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicines. 
     
    Flu 
    Symptoms of the Flu are:
    • Fever (100º F or greater)(although not everyone with flu will have a fever) 
    • Headache 
    • Muscle aches or body aches 
    • Chills 
    • Extreme tiredness 
    • Cough 
    • Sore throat 
    • Runny or stuffy nose  
    • May have diarrhea and vomiting (more common in children than adults)
    Some people do develop complications, which can be life-threatening.  Speak with your physician early if you are worried about your child's illness.
     
    Excluded until free of fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicines.  Never use aspirin or aspirin-containing medications to treat the symptoms of chickenpox, influenza-like illnesses, flu, viruses or colds, etc.  According to the National Reye's Syndrome Foundation, research has shown an associated "link between Reye's Syndrome and the use of aspirin and other salicylate containing medications" and products.  
     
    Flu shots are available through your healthcare provider, area clinics, pharmacies, and local health departments. Free flu shots are available to qualifying children age 6 months to 18 years through the Care Van of North Texas. Additional information on seasonal flu is available on the website of the Center for Disease Control
     
    If your child is home from school with the flu or flu-like symptoms, please notify the attendance office that your child is home with flu or flu-like illness. This will assist the District and Denton County Health Department in monitoring the spread of the flu. LISD is participating in the Denton County Health Department flu surveillance program.
     
    Head Lice
    Exclusions from head lice (nits) have been removed.  See Parent's Guide to Head Lice below.
     
    Meningitis
    Viral - Excluded until free of fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicines.
    Bacterial - Excluded until written authorization to return to school by your physician or Health Department.
    Please notified the school for confirmed cases.
     
    For more detailed information, see below.*
     
    Mumps
    Exclusions from school for 5 days after onset of swelling.
     
    Pertussis
    Exclusions from school until completion of 5 days of antibiotic therapy.
     
    Ring Worm
    No exclusion from school as long as covered by clothing or bandage while at school.
     
    Scabies
    Exclusions from school until treatment has begun.
     
    Staph & MRSA
    Students may not come to school with open draining lesions or sores.  All draining lesions or sores must be kept covered while at school.  Please notify the school for confirmed cases of MRSA or Staph.
     
    A Staph infection is a contagious skin infection that is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Staph is a common germ that many people carry in their nasal passages, under their fingernails or on their skin with no ill effects. MRSA is a type of Staph that has developed antibiotic resistance (certain antibodies are unable to kill the bacteria). Since Staph is spread primarily by direct (skin-to-skin) human contact or with direct contact to wound drainage of someone who is carrying or infected with the bacteria, anyone with a break in his or her skin is at risk. MRSA may also occur less frequently through indirect contact with contaminated surfaces or items. MRSA is not spread through the air.
     
    Staph infections begin abruptly. Symptoms may include a large area of redness on the skin, swelling and pain, followed by a pustule or abscess or boils and carbuncles (red, lumpy sores filled with pus). If left untreated, Staph can infect blood and bones, causing severe illness that requires hospitalization.
     
    Strep Throat
    Some sore throats are caused by streptococcus and will need antibiotic treatment. The only way to be sure if the sore throat is caused by strep is to have a throat culture done. This is a simple test that can be done in a few minutes in your physician's office.
    If your child has or develops one or more of the symptoms listed below with the sore throat it may be a strep throat:
    • Fever 
    • Spots on tonsils or throat 
    • Nausea 
    • Rash 
    • Feels or seems ill 
    • Vomiting 
    • Aches 
    • Swollen or tender nodes in neck 
    • Abdominal pain 
    If any of these symptoms are present call your child's physician for advice. Early and adequate treatment can help prevent spread of the illness or serious complications like rheumatic fever, kidney damage, heart disease or arthritis.
     
    Once appropriate therapy is started your child should start feeling better in a day or two and will not be considered contagious after two days of antibiotics. Your child's rapid and complete recovery can be helped by following these guidelines:      
    • DO NOT STOP THE MEDICATION WHEN YOUR CHILD FEELS BETTER. 
    • Insist that each dose of medicine is taken as prescribed. 
    • Do not save any antibiotic for later use. 
    • Do not allow others to take or share the antibiotics. 
    • Encourage plenty of liquids and adequate rest. 
    • CALL THE PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY IF: Your child does not improve in a day or two, gets worse, reacts to the medication (rash, diarrhea, etc.) 
    For additional information on Strep Throat click here - KidsHealth.org
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    *MENINGITIS
    What is meningitis?
    Meningitis is an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord---also called the meninges. It can be caused by viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria. Viral (aseptic) meningitis is common; most people recover fully. Medical management of viral meningitis consists of supportive treatment and there is usually no indication for the use of antibiotics. Parasitic and fungal meningitis are very rare. Bacterial meningitis is very serious and may involve complicated medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, and life support management.
     
    There are two common types of bacteria that cause meningitis:
    • Strep pneumoniae causes pneumococcal meningitis; there are over 80 subtypes that cause illness 
    • Neisseria meningitidis–meningococcal meningitis; there are 5 subtypes that cause serious illness–A, B, C, Y, W-135 
     
    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 1 year old) and adults with meningitis may have:
    • Severe headache 
    • High temperature 
    • Vomiting 
    • Sensitivity to bright lights 
    • Neck stiffness, joint pains 
    • Drowsiness or confusion 
     
    *In both children and adults, there may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots or bruises caused by bleeding under the skin. These can occur anywhere on the body. They are a sign of blood poisoning (septicemia), which sometimes happens with meningitis, particularly the meningococcal strain.
     
    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, such as deafness, blindness, amputations or brain damage (resulting in mental retardation or paralysis) even with prompt treatment.
     
    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. The germs live naturally in the back of our noses and throats, but they do not live for long outside the body. They are spread when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing; sharing drinking containers, utensils or cigarettes).
     
    The germ does not cause meningitis in most people. Instead most people become carriers of the germ for days, weeks or even months. Being a carrier helps to stimulate your body’s natural defense system. The bacteria rarely overcomes the body’s immune system and causes meningitis or another serious illness.
     
    What is the risk of getting bacterial meningitis?
    The risk of getting bacterial meningitis in all age groups is about 2.4 cases per 100,000 population per year. However, the highest risk group for the most serious form of the disease, meningococcal meningitis, is highest among children 2 to 18 years old.
     
    How is bacterial meningitis diagnosed?
    The diagnosis is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results from spinal fluid and blood. Spinal fluid is obtained by a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).
     
    How can bacterial meningitis be prevented?
    Do not share food, drinks, utensils, toothbrushes, or cigarettes. Limit the number of persons you kiss.
     
    Vaccines against pneumococcal disease are recommended both for young children and adults over 64. A vaccine against four meningococcal serogroups (A, C, Y, W-135) is available. These four groups cause the majority of meningococcal cases in the United States. This vaccine is recommended by some groups for college students, particularly freshmen living in dorms or residence halls. The vaccine is safe and effective (85-90%). It can cause mild side effects, such as redness and pain at the injection site lasting up to two days. Immunity develops within 7 to 10 days after the vaccine is given and lasts for up to 5 years.
     
    What should you do if you think you or a friend might have bacterial meningitis?
    Seek prompt medical attention.
     
    For more information
    Your school nurse, 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 Texas Department of Health office to ask about meningococcal vaccine. Additional information may also be found at the web sites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov and the Texas Department of Health: www.tdh.state.tx.us.
     
     
    CDC.gov (www.cdc.gov) is your online source for credible health information and is the official Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).