Contagious Diseases To Watch For This School Year

Going back to school is exciting, but the germs, bacteria and viruses, will minge among your kids. Here is what to look for so you can be prepared. These are some contagious diseases to watch for this year.

Influenza Or Stomach Flu

Better known as the flu, this is a common problem almost every single year. It is very contagious. Unlike the common cold which comes on gradually, flu symptoms happen quickly.

Suddenly your child has the following symptoms: a cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, body aches, fever or chills, a headache, fatigue, and for the unlucky – vomiting and diarrhea. That’s the bad news. The good news is you can take your child and everyone in the family to get their flu shot. Even if you or your child succumbs to the flu, it will be a milder case.

sisters sitting on the bed and blowing their noses and sneezing and wearing scarfs

The Common Cold

Rhinovirus and Adenovirus are viruses that cause the common cold. They are usually mild in nature but they can lead to serious upper respiratory infections.


Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, can become a serious respiratory illness. It usually begins when the school year commences. Watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Runny nose and fever
  • Cough
  • Trouble eating, drinking, and swallowing
  • Wheezing
  • Fast breathing
  • Turning blue around the lips and fingertips
  • Short periods without breathing like apnea

If breathing symptoms become severe, call Elmwood Pediatric Group


This serious virus is still with us, although it affects children much less than adults. There are so many symptoms, it can be hard to keep up. Watch out for any signs of the common cold plus the loss of taste or smell. Body aches and fatigue are other signs. The return to school protocols recommend that your child should get a COVID test for any viral symptoms. This can be done at our office, possibly at your school, and in other testing sites

The Delta variant is especially contagious among children. For some specific ways to counter COVID this school year, read this article.

Scarlet Fever

Once a very serious bacterial infection, scarlet fever is now easily treated with antibiotics. If your child gets a severe sore throat and a scarlet rash around the neck and face, contact Elmwood Pediatric Group for a course of antibiotics. (Scarlet Fever is Strep throat plus a rash.)

Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, is from virus and bacterial infections that easily spread from child to child and among family members. Eyes look pink, feel itchy, burn and tear. Eyes may also have a crusty coating.

If symptoms last more than a few days, call Elmwood Pediatric Group, especially if your child complains of  pain, blurry vision, or sensitivity to light. Regular hand washing is the best way to protect you and your child from pink eye.

Live What You Have Learned

We have all learned how to protect ourselves from viruses in the last 18 months. Be a model for your kids by emphasizing washing their hands throughout the day, especially after being outside, before eating, after coughing or sneezing, and after going to the bathroom.

Teach them about coughing or sneezing into their arm, distancing, and wearing a mask when appropriate.

Watch for symptoms of contagious diseases this school year, and contact Elmwood Pediatric Group at (585) 244-9720 should they become severe.

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