East Midlands Scarlet Fever Outbreak
This alert is to advise you that there is an increase of Scarlet Fever across the East Midlands and for you to be aware of this and what you will need to do to prevent the spread. The attached Posters and FAQs leaflet give you information and advice on the management. If you have any concerns contact your named health visitor, school nurse, or advise the family to contact their doctor.
Scarlet Fever most commonly occurs in children 2 – 10 years old, and less so with older children and adults. It is a highly contagious disease, where the child should be excluded from school and treated with an antibiotic. They can return to school if well enough once they have a full 24 hour cover from the antibiotic.
This alert is a preventative precaution to help reduce the spread of this disease which is easily spreadable, so observing good hygiene is important.
The first symptoms of scarlet fever often include a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. After 12 to 48 hours the characteristic fine red rash develops (if you touch it, it feels like sandpaper). Typically, it 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, although the ‘sandpaper’ feel should be present
- Fever over 38.3º C (101º F) or higher is common
- White coating on the tongue, which peels a few days later, leaving the tongue looking red and swollen (known as ‘strawberry tongue’)
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Feeling tired and unwell
- Flushed red face, but pale around the mouth. The flushed face may appear more ‘sunburnt’ on darker skin
- Peeling skin on the fingertips, toes and groin area, as the rash fades.
It usually takes two to five days from infection before the first symptoms appear. However, the incubation period may be as short as one day and as long as seven days.
Scarlet fever usually clears up after a week, but it is advisable to visit your GP to get a full diagnosis and proper treatment.
For more information please use the following links
Principal Public Health Manager
Lead for Starting Well and Public Health Nursing
Contact 01629 536794
Mobile 07876351807 (Preferred contact other than e-mail)