Infectious Diseases in Children

German Measles


Mild temperature.       Mild cold symptoms   Enlarged neck glands      Flat pink rash on face, body and behind ears. 14-21 days Immunize child at 15 months.                 Immunization strongly advised for girls at 12 years. Until rash disappears(+/- 5days) Isolate the child            Panado for temperature              Give plenty of fluids.  Watch for complications.        Inform parents (danger during pregnancy) 5 days after start of illness.

(Veld Sores)

Blister like spots which develop into yellow, crusted sores.             Spots are found around the nose but can spread to any part of the body that has broken skin (e.g. knee graze) 2-5 days Children must not share towels or face cloths.       Spreads very quickly among children through touching. Until no pus appears in sore. Child to see doctor.  Child to stay at home. Will need a prescribed anti-biotic cream for the sores.                  Wash crust off gently, and then apply ointment. Do not cover sores with plasters.     Boil/Sterilize towels and face cloth used by infected child. Child should stay at home until treatment is started and there is no pus in sores.

Preferably child should stay at home until all scabs have fallen off.





Itchy scalp.                   Nits seen on hair (they look like small beads strung on hair.          Sores from scratching. Neck glands may appear swollen. child immediately infested on contact If outbreak occurs, remove all fantasy clothing that comes into contact with hair e.g. hats.  Children should not share combs or brushes until all lice and nits have been eradicated. Child to stay at home.  Hair must be shampooed with shampoo for nits (from the pharmacy)

Check all other children’s hair daily.

Until lice and nits have been eradicated (3-5days)
Chicken pox Slight temperature.      Sore throat.                  Dark red itchy spots follow Usually 2-3weeks (13-17 days) None. Child is immune after 1 attack.  Very dangerous if child is on cortisone or cancer drugs. 1-2 days before rash until +/- 6 days later. Scabs are not infectious. Isolate the child.            Cut fingernails to stop the scratching. Apply calamine lotion For 6 days after rash appears and until scabs are all dry.


Cold sores or fever blisters Blisters on lips or mouth.                     High temperatures. Irritability.                      Pain and tingling at blister area. Up to 2 weeks None. Do not let child share towels or tissues. Ointments are available from chemist.                  Vaseline or lip ice to prevent chapping. Lots of fluids (not fizzy). Let child drink through a straw.  Panado for pain and temperature. Unnecessary to stay at home.
Common cold




Sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes.                Sore throat.                 Mild temperature.                Feels tired and irritable 12-72 hours Sick child should stay at home.        Use disposable tissues for runny nose. 1-2 days before symptoms and a few days later. Panado for temperature. If temp persists child should see doctor. Watch for complications (sinusitis, bronchitis, tonsillitis) For 1-3 days while sick. Stay home if complications develop.
Diphtheria Grey membrane in throat.                          Sore throat.          Enlarged glands.   Swollen neck.           Fever.                        Runny nose. Tiredness. 2-7 days Immunization. Only use pasteurized milk. Proper use of tissues.                  Staff must get a booster against diphtheria. Doctor will advise. Doctor will advise. Seek medical help immediately.             All staff must be immunized. Doctor will advise.
Measles Cold symptoms.           Dry cough.                      High temperature.  White spots in mouth (koplik’s spots).            Red eyes sensitive to light.                             Rash starts behind ears, then on face then on body. 7-14 days Immunization 9-10 days Isolate child. Keep in bed while child has high temp and watch for complications (bronchitis, ear infection).                  Clean sticky eyelids with cotton wool dipped in cool, boiled water. Darken room if eyes are sensitive. For +/- 9 days (consult doctor)
Mumps High temperature.   Painful and swollen neck glands.                Pain when chewing or eating acid foods. 12-26 days Immunization available at 15 months. Until swelling goes down Isolate child. Keep in bed while child has high temp and watch for complications (meningitis).                  Give Panado for fever. Give plenty of liquids and soft food as chewing is painful. Do not give sour or acid drinks. Until swelling has gone down.
Pink eye (Conjunctivitis) Red eyes with purulent discharge.    Eyes irritated and itchy. Sensitive to light. 2-4 days No specific measures. Just general hygiene – no sharing of towels or face cloths. Use disposable tissues. Until eyes have improved. Clean eyes with cool, boiled water and cotton wool.

Antibiotic cream needs to be prescribed by doctor.

Until eyes have improved.
Polio Temperature.   Headache.       Tiredness and irritability. Neck and back stiffness. 3-21 days Immunization. General hygiene measures.            Use only pasteurized milk. +/-2 weeks Child must stay at home and be treated by a doctor.            Ensure all children have been immunized. As advised by doctor.



Circular rough areas of skin. Hair in center of circle falls out. 10-14 days Ensure that animals (dogs and cats) are free of ringworm.              Do not share combs, brushes, towels or clothes. Infectious until treated. Get ointment from doctor or clinic. Until treated.
Scabies Itchy red spots or burrows in skin folds. Especially found on hands, feet and in the groin. Hours to weeks No sharing of clothes or bed linen.                      Good home and personal hygiene. Boil and iron all children’s clothes and linen whilst under treatment. Until treated. Child to see doctor or clinic.                          Child must be treated with special soap and lotion.                          All clothes and linen must be boiled and ironed. Until treated.
Scarlet fever High temp. Severe sore throat.              Red tongue with “strawberry” appearance. White area around mouth. Swollen neck glands. Fine red rash on body and skin peels later. 2-6 days None. Ensure domestic staff receives regular medical examinations. Until symptoms disappear (+/-1 week) Isolate child. Child requires anti-biotic cream from the doctor.                      Bed Rest while temp is high. Watch for complications (kidney infection). Until well (+/-1 week)
Tuberculosis (T.B.) Tiredness.                  Night sweating. Continual coughing. Weight loss.       Shortness of breath.  Loss of appetite 4-12 weeks BCG injection given at birth. Proper hygiene. Ensure domestic staff has yearly medicals. Good nutrition. Use only pasteurized milk Infectious until 48 hours after start of treatment. Child should receive proper medical treatment at TB clinic. Ensure children have BCG injections at birth. Until stronger. Can return 48 hours after treatment has started as he is then no longer infectious.
Whooping cough Cold symptoms.     Cough-) dry at first and later has “whoop” sound.             Vomiting after coughing.                 Loss of appetite. 7-21 days Immunization +/-4weeks Child must be seen by a doctor. For 3 weeks after “whoop” has been heard.
Worms; Roundworm, Tapeworm, Threadworm, Hookworm



Vomiting.                  Eating and breathing problems.                 Rectal itch.             Weight loss.       Disturbed sleep 2 days to 1 month Clean and sterilize sandpit and cover it at night.  Treat cats and dogs for worms. Hand washing after toilet and before eating. Only buy meat from a reputable butcher. Until treated and re-infection cycle has been broken. Wash hands after toilet and before eating. Doctor or pharmacist to recommend correct treatment. Whole family to be treated. none