Scarlet Fever Strep A
You will have heard that there is an increase in scarlet fever in school age children in England. We need to remember that infections remain extremely rare.
Although scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, it should be treated with antibiotics to minimise the risk of complications and reduce the spread to others.
The symptoms of scarlet fever include a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. This is followed by a fine red rash which typically first appears on the chest and stomach, rapidly spreading to other parts of the body. On more darkly-pigmented skin, the scarlet rash may be harder to spot, but it should feel like 'sandpaper'. The face can be flushed red but pale around the mouth.
If you think you, or your child, have scarlet fever:
• See your GP or contact NHS 111 as soon as possible
• Make sure that you/your child takes the full course of any antibiotics prescribed by the doctor
• Stay at home, away from school for at least 48 hours after starting the antibiotic treatment (in line with school policy) to avoid spreading the infection
If your child has an underlying condition which affects their immune system, you should contact your GP or hospital doctor to discuss whether any additional measures are needed.
These are links to further information:
- UKHSA update on scarlet fever and invasive Group A strep UKHSA update on scarlet fever and invasive Group A strep
- A fact sheet that covers what scarlet fever is and other frequently asked questions: Factsheet (publishing.service.gov.uk)
- Scarlet fever guidance on symptoms, diagnosis on treatment: Scarlet fever: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.