Communicable Disease

Exclusion From School

To protect all children from communicable illnesses, the school administrator/principal shall exclude from attendance any child having or suspected of having a communicable condition. Exclusion shall continue until the readmission criteria for the conditions are met 25 TAC 97.7 (a).

The guidelines below have been developed for the exclusion of students who have or are suspected of having a communicable illness. These regulations are in conformance with the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control.

Do not send your child to school if they are ill with:

  • Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, or any condition that presents with fever - students will be excluded until they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever suppressing medications
  • Diarrheal illnesses - students will be excluded until they are diarrhea free for 24 hours without the use of diarrhea suppressing medications
  • Vomiting, especially if accompanied by symptoms, such as headache, fever, stiff neck, disorientation and sleepiness
  • Painful muscle spasms and stiffness of head, neck, and jaw
  • Undetermined rash over any part of the body
  • Undiagnosed scaly patches on the body or scalp
  • Red, draining eyes
  • Open, draining lesions or wounds
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Other signs and symptoms that may indicate a communicable illness

The school administrator/principal, nurse or designee will notify the student's parent or guardian that the student is to be excluded for health reasons.

It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to transport the student from school to his/her home or physician.

The school administrator/principal shall exclude from attendance any child having or suspected of having a communicable disease, as defined by the Commissioner of Health, until one or more of the criteria for readmittance is fulfilled 25 TAC 97.7 (b).

  1. Submitting a certificate from the attending physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant attesting that the child does not currently have signs or symptoms of acommunicable disease or to the disease's non-communicability in a school setting
  2. Submitting a permit for readmission issued by a local health authority
  3. Meeting readmission criteria as esbablished by the Commisioner 25 TAC 97.7 (13), .7 (c).

For more information on communicable diseases and exclusion/readmittance criteria for schools, please visit the following links:

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus "MRSA"

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics called beta-lactams. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections.

Staphylococcus aureus (pronounced staff-ill-oh-KOK-us AW-ree-us), or "Staph" is a very common germ that about 1 out of every 3 people have on their skin or in their nose. This germ does not cause any problems for most people who have it on their skin. But sometimes it can cause serious infections such as skin or wound infections, pneumonia, or infections of the blood.

For more information on MRSA visit:
Texas Department of State Health Services: MRSA
Centers for Disease Control: MRSA

Influenza

Influenza is caused by a virus (influenza A or B), and symptoms include high fever, chills, congestion, coughing, and muscle aches. Most people who get influenza feel too ill to go to school or work.

The virus concentration in respiratory secretions is usually highest up to 7 days before a person develops symptoms of illness. Viruses continue to be present in respiratory secretions for 2 to 3 days after symptoms begin. As a result, infected students and staff have already spread viruses before they begin to feel ill.

Students will be excluded until fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever suppressing medications.

For more information visit:
Centers for Disease Control: Influenza
Centers for Disease Control: Influenza Vaccine
Centers for Disease Control: General Information on Influenza Treatment
What You Should Know for the 2012-2013 Influenza Season

Meningitis

Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Meningitis may develop in response to a number of causes, usually bacteria or viruses, but meningitis can also be caused by physical injury, cancer or certain drugs.

The severity of illness and the treatment for meningitis differ depending on the cause. Thus, it is important to know the specific cause of meningitis.

Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is usually severe. While most people with meningitis recover, it can cause serious complications, such as brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disabilities.

There are several pathogens (types of germs) that can cause bacterial meningitis. Some of the leading causes of bacterial meningitis in the United States include Haemophilus influenzae (most often caused by type b, Hib), Streptococcus pneumoniae, group B Streptococcus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Neisseria meningitidis.

For more information please visit:
Bacterial Meningitis
Meningitis Questions
Meningococcal: Who Needs to be Vaccinated?
Meningococcal Vaccination
Meningococcal Vaccines Fact Sheet (English) / Spanish

Every child gets sick from time to time. Click here for more information on infections and how to recognize the symptoms, how to help and when to call the doctor.