Communicable Disease Information

When children and teens are together in group settings such as schools, child care facilities, camps, and sporting activities, some disease-causing germs are easily spread among them. Communicable diseases are those diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and protozoa that are passed from one person to another. It is important to recognize when someone in a group setting is sick with a communicable disease so steps can be taken to obtain medical care and prevent the spread of disease to others.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services revised and combined the Wisconsin Communicable Disease Chart and the Childhood Day Care Exclusion Criteria to create the Wisconsin Childhood Communicable Diseases (WCCD) wall chart. The complete chart is a color-coded, quick disease reference for those responsible for the care of children and teens in group settings.

The chart has been divided into six categories of the most common communicable diseases affecting children. The category charts include how the diseases are spread, incubation period (time of exposure to symptoms), signs and symptoms, time period when person is contagious, and criteria for exclusion from school or group.

Wisconsin Childhood Communicable Diseases Chart


Head lice are tiny, wingless, gray-brown, hairy, flat insects that live in human hair, generally on the scalp. They are very small (1-2 mm. in length). Lice hatch from small eggs, called nits, which attach very firmly with a glue-like substance to the hair shaft. Head lice are commonly referred to as a nuisance condition because they rarely cause any serious medical concern. However, live lice are communicable and can result in secondary infection to the scalp if not properly treated.

Specific guidelines have been developed for the treatment of head lice and/or nits in the Appleton Area School District. These guidelines include parent notification, treatment instructions, and parent responsibilities. The parent/guardian of any student found to have nits or live lice will be notified. Parents/guardians may choose to pick up the student at the time of discovery or at the end of the school day.

Lice Fact Sheet

The AASD adheres to health policies and disease control procedures for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of all students and employees. These procedures will be maintained in cooperation with city, county, and state health departments and in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes. When a reportable communicable disease is known or suspected within the school environment, the District will contact the appropriate health department.

Board Policy 453.3  Communicable Diseases