Infectious diseases

Public Health regulations exist to try and control outbreaks of infectious diseases.  All cases of certain diseases must be reported to us. These are known as 'notifiable diseases'.

We work with Public Health England (PHE) to investigate:

  • Individual cases and outbreaks of gastro enteritis. We do this in partnership with NHS nurses from Community Health Care who also provide guidance for control of outbreaks in nursing and residential homes, day centres, children's settings and education establishments.
  • Legionella cases where we work with the employers, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Public Health England (PHE) to identify potential sources of infection and to try and prevent further cases.

You can find out more about infectious diseases from Public Health England (PHE).

When a child can return to school after having an infectious disease

See the table below for helpful advice around some infectious diseases and when children can return to school if they've had the disease.

If you're worried please seek further advice from your GP or community pharmacist.

Disease When to return to school
Chicken pox Five days from onset of rash and all the spots have crusted over.
Conjunctivitis No need to stay off, but school or nursery should be informed.
Diarrhoea and vomiting 48 hours from the last symptoms.
Glandular fever No need to stay off, but school or nursery should be informed.
Flu * When recovered
Hand, foot and mouth No need to stay off, but school or nursery should be informed.
Head lice No need to stay off, but school or nursery should be informed.
Impetigo When lesions are crusted and healed or 48 hours after starting antibiotics.
Measles or German measles * Four days from onset of rash and recovered
Mumps * Five days from onset of swelling.
Scabies After first treatment.
Scarlet fever 24 hours after starting antibiotics.
Slapped cheek No need to stay off, but school or nursery should be informed.
Threadworms No need to stay off, but school or nursery should be informed.
Tonsillitis No need to stay off, but school or nursery should be informed.
Whooping cough * 48 hours after starting antibiotics.

* Vaccine preventable

Hand washing is one of the most important ways of controlling the spread of infections, especially those that cause diarrhoea and vomiting and respiratory disease. Liquid soap, warm water and paper towels are recommended.