Scientific advice on meningococcal disease
Illnesses caused by infectious diseases are common in children in schools or other childcare settings. Currently there is no common EU approach to the control of communicable diseases in schools or other childcare settings, and existing information is uncertain.
ECDC undertook a systematic review that looked into the incubation period and period of infectiousness/duration of shedding for 30 of the most common infectious diseases in children. It also looked into the exclusion period for children in schools and other childcare settings. The findings may provide evidence essential for public health action, such as the minimum school leave period for an infected child/teenager. Evidence from the scientific literature can also provide the basis for a guidance on the exclusion-making process and for other control strategies to prevent the spread of the most frequent infectious diseases in schools and other childcare settings.
The review covered selected infections in children aged 1 month to 18 years. The outcomes were subdivided in the following disease groups:
- Vaccine preventable diseases (measles; meningococcal disease; mumps; pertussis; rubella; varicella);
- Food and waterborne diseases (enterovirus infections; viral gastroenteritis by adenovirus, astrovirus, noro-/calici-/sapovirus, rotavirus; hepatitis A; campylobacteriosis; Escherichia coli infections; Salmonella infections (non-typhoid, typhoid, paratyphoid); shigellosis; giardiasis):
- Airborne diseases (influenza; infectious mononucleosis; respiratory syncytial virus infections; streptococcal infections (scarlet fever, streptococcal pharyngitis, impetigo);
- Other transmissible diseases of interest in pediatrics (roseola infantum, erythema infectiosum, staphylococcal impetigo, hospital colonisation by resistant pathogens and MRSA infections).