Increase in scarlet fever cases 2022

Scarlet fever is highly infectious and can be caught through direct contact with an infected person or through the air via droplets from coughs or sneezes. Good hand hygiene and avoidance of spread of respiratory secretions (as per influenza- “catch it, bin it, kill it”) can help to prevent the spread of infection.

The characteristic symptom of scarlet fever is a widespread, fine pink-red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch. Other symptoms include a high temperature, a flushed face and a red, swollen tongue. 

Most cases of scarlet fever cause no complications, especially if the condition is properly treated. Treatment is straightforward and usually involves a course of penicillin antibiotics. Children will need to stay off school until at least 24 hours after starting antibiotics. 

Please can parents/carers keep an eye out for symptoms and contact the doctor as necessary. Any confirmed cases of scarlet fever need to be reported to school.