Disease Information

Here you’ll find a useful compendium of diseases and ailments that you may encounter as a public school educator:

Acne: Serious skin conditions affect around seven million of people in the UK alone. They can cause significant emotional distress as well as physical discomfort.

Allergies: Allergies are abnormal reactions to ordinarily harmless substances. The sensitizing substances, called allergens, may be inhaled, swallowed, or come into contact with the skin. Allergens that most frequently cause problems are: pollens, mold spores, house dust mites, animal danders, foods, insect bites or stings, plants, insect spores, latex rubber, viruses, bacteria, medications and environmental conditions (such as cold temperatures).

Asthma: Asthma is a lung disease. People have it for many years. There is no cure for asthma, but you can take charge and learn to control it. During an asthma episode, the airways in your lungs get swollen. Your chest feels tight. You may cough, wheeze, or have trouble breathing.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder of the hand (caused by swollen tendons in the wrist) resulting from repetitious, forceful motion of the hands and wrists.

Chickenpox: 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.

Diabetes: Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Caring for Diabetic Children in the Classroom: About 151,000 of the 17 million people with diabetes in the United States are children. That means one in 400 school-age children has diabetes.

Eczema: Serious skin conditions that can cause significant emotional distress as well as physical discomfort.

Epilepsy: Epilepsy is a brain disorder. It occurs when the electrical signals in the brain are disrupted. This change in the brain leads to a seizure. Seizures can cause brief changes in a person's.

Epi-pen: The DOE has developed a comprehensive plan to address the identification and treatment of food allergies in New York City schools.

Fifth Disease: Fifth disease, usually a mild rash illness with low or no fever, is caused by a human parvovirus (B19). For many years, fifth disease was viewed as an unimportant illness of children. Recently, studies have shown that the virus may be responsible for serious complications in certain individuals.   No accurate estimate of disease occurrence is available in New York City because fifth disease is not a reportable condition.

Hay Fever: Hay fever is a type of allergic rhinitis that occurs at particular times of year, usually spring and summer, when pollen counts are high. Allergic rhinitis, which can occur at any time, is an inflammation of the nose caused by reaction to an allergen in the air or in food.

Head Lice: Headlice is an infection with adult or larval lice or their eggs (nits). Here is information about the disease and the policy on lice and nits in New York City public schools.

Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B (formerly known as serum hepatitis) is an infection of the liver caused by a bloodborne virus.

Impetigo: If you have children, you've probably dealt with an assortment of rashes and skin irritations over the years. One of the most common of these is impetigo - a skin infection that usually appears on the face, especially around the nose and mouth. Although anyone can develop the infection, it mainly affects infants and young children.

Infectious Mononucleosis: Infectious mononucleosis is a viral disease that affects certain types of white blood cells. It is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is a member of the herpes virus family.

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.

Lice: Pediculousis, or infestation with body and/or head lice, causes little irritation initially. After weeks of continued biting, some individuals may become sensitized and suffer an allergic reaction.

Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is a bacterial disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi (boar-ELL-ee-uh burg-dorf-ERR-eye). Within 1 to 2 weeks of being infected, people may have a "bull's-eye" rash with fever, headache, and muscle or joint pain.

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.

Obesity: Obesity is a major issue around the world, and as more and more people put on excess weight it is a problem that is only likely to get worse.

Reportable Disease Policy: The Department of Health/DOE School Health is supposed to send out a letter to staff and parents whenever there has been a case or cases of a reportable disease (for example, tuberculosis or bacterial meningitis.)

Ringworm: Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus that can affect the scalp, skin, fingers, toenails or foot.

Rotavirus: Rotavirus is a virus (germ) that can cause severe diarrhea, usually with fever and vomiting. Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea) in infants and young children in the United States.

Rubella (German Measles): Rubella is a viral disease that causes fever, rash and swollen glands. Illness is usually mild, but if a woman gets rubella during pregnancy, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or birth defects in her unborn child. Rubella is more common in winter and spring.

Streptococcal Infections: What is Group A Streptococcus (Group A Strep)? Group A streptococci are bacteria commonly found in the throat and on the skin. The vast majority of Group A Strep infections are mild illnesses, such as strep throat and impetigo.

Swine flu: H1N1 flu (“swine flu”) is caused by a virus similar to regular (seasonal) flu. The illness can cause fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness, aches, chills and stuffy nose. Some affected people have also reported diarrhea and vomiting. Since April 2009, it has caused outbreaks of flu-like illness among people in New York City and in many countries around the world.

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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