There is a reported increase by the UK Health Security Agency in the number of cases of children and young people with Scarlet Fever and in some cases leading to an illness called Strep A.
Scarlet Fever is caused by bacteria called group A streptococci. It’s easily treated with antibiotics. These bacteria also cause other respiratory and skin infections such as strep throat and impetigo. In very rare occasions, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause an illness called invasive Group A strep (iGAS).
Signs and Symptoms of Scarlet Fever
The first signs of Scarlet Fever are flu-like symptoms such as:
- High temperature
- Sore throat and swollen neck glands
- A bumpy, rough feeling rash usually appears after 12 to 48 hours on the chest and tummy.
UK Health Security Agency Advice and Guidance
In school we advise all pupils and staff to maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene.
Good hand hygiene means,
- Ensure everyone has access to liquid soap, warm water, and paper towels. Bar soap should not be used
- Clean and wash hands after using the toilet, before eating or handling food, after break and lunchtime and after touching animals
- All cuts and abrasions should be covered with a waterproof dressing.
Good respiratory hygiene means:
- Covering nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, disposing of used tissue in a waste bin, and clean hands
- Cough or sneeze into the inner elbow (upper sleeve) if no tissues are available, rather than into the hand
- Keep contaminated hands away from their eyes, mouth and nose
- Clean hands after contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects and materials.
If you think your child is showing signs of Scarlet Fever, it’s important to contact your local GP or NHS111.
Individuals with scarlet fever should not attend school until 24 hours after commencing appropriate antibiotic treatment.
If no antibiotics have been administered, the individual will be infectious for 2 to 3 weeks and should not attend school for this period.