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Concerned about Scarlet Fever?

by Gemma Melling

In the past few weeks there has been an increase in the number of cases of Scarlet Fever reported in the region. Here’s what you need to know about this seasonal illness.

What is Scarlet Fever?

Scarlet Fever is a seasonal illness caused by bacteria that is often found in the throat and on the skin which should be treated with antibiotics.

The patient usually has a rash and a sore throat and the disease is spread easily through coughing and sneezing.

Who is at risk?

Scarlet Fever is most common in young children aged two to eight years. However, people of any age can get the illness.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of Scarlet Fever include a sore throat, headache, fever, flushed cheeks and nausea / vomiting and a pink-red rash developing, normally starting around the chest or stomach area and then spreading out over other parts of the body, such as the ears and neck.

It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of scarlet fever so that early treatment with antibiotics can be given.

How is it treated?

If you think you or your child has scarlet fever, their GP may take a throat swab and prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk of developing complications such as ear infections, abscesses in the throat and sometimes blood and lung infections.

Children should stay away from nursery or school and adults from work until at least 24 hours after the start of treatment.

You can help to protect yourself and others from Scarlet Fever by washing your hands regularly, using a tissue to catch, bin and kill germs and don’t share eating utensils.

Is Scarlet Fever dangerous?

Scarlet Fever was once a very dangerous condition, but it is now easily treated and the risks of complications are minimal.

More information:

If you think you or your child have any of the symptoms, please see your GP.  Further information can be found on the NHS Choices website.