Communicable diseases

Make sure you are familiar with these communicable diseases and report outbreaks to the union. We work closely with the NYC DOE/NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) Office of School Health to address concerns.

Chicken Pox: Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella virus, a member of the herpes virus family. It is the most commonly reported childhood disease. In 1994, there were 5,977 cases reported among New York City residents (rate of 81.6 cases per 100,000 persons). Effective in 1995, chickenpox is no longer required to be reported to the New York City Department of Health.

Common Cold: The common cold (also called viral rhinitis) is a viral infection, characterized by nasal congestion, a clear, runny nose, sneezing, scratchy throat and general malaise.

Ebola: Ebola is a severe, often fatal, disease caused by the Ebola virus. A person is at risk of infection if he or she comes into direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of a person who is both infected and showing symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus is not transmitted through the air or water.  

Fifth Disease: Fifth disease, a mild, usually nonfebrile rash illness is caused by a human parvovirus (B19). While considered a mild disease Fifth disease is of concern for persons with the following conditions: pregnant, immunocompromised, undergoing chemotherapy treatment and sickle cell. Staff with these conditions should consult with their personal health care providers immediately if there is a case or outbreak of Fifth disease.

Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B (formerly known as serum hepatitis) is an infection of the liver caused by a bloodborne virus. The disease is fairly common. In 2001, there were 661 acute cases reported among New York City residents (rate of 8.3 cases per 100,000 persons).

Influenza (Flu): Influenza is a viral infection of the nose, throat, bronchial tubes and lungs. There are two main types of virus: influenza A and influenza B. Each type includes many different strains, which tend to change each year.

Measles: Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that causes fever and a rash. Measles is more common in winter and spring. Epidemics of measles can occur.

Meningitis (Bacterial): Meningitis (bacterial)is a severe bacterial infection of the meninges (a thin lining covering the brain and spinal cord) caused by the bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. Meningococcemia is the term for infections involving the bloodstream.

Meningitis (Viral): Viral meningitis is a viral infection of the lining (meninges) covering the brain and spinal corde. There are many types of viruses that can cause this disease.

MRSA - Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus: MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, but is shorthand for any strain of Staphylococcus bacteria which is resistant to one or more conventional antibiotics.

Mumps: Mumps is a viral illness that causes fever and swelling of one or more glands near the jaw. Mumps is more common during winter and spring.

Noroviruses or Stomach Viruses: Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause an illness some people call the "stomach flu." They are not related to the flu (influenza). Another name for noroviruses is gastroenteritis.

Scabies: Scabies is an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash. The scabies mite usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies.

Shingles: Shingles, also called herpes zoster or zoster, is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Tuberculosis: TB is spread when a person who has active, untreated TB germs in their lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, laughs, or speaks, spreading their germs into the air. A person who breathes in TB germs usually has had very close, day-to-day contact with someone who has active TB disease.

Whooping Cough: Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial illness that causes a cough lasting several weeks.

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