Scarlet Fever

Scarlet Fever

Scarlet Fever

We have a case of Scarlet Fever in the Nursery. As scarlet fever is highly contagious, children diagnosed with scarlet fever are advised to stay off school until at least 48 hours after the start of the antibiotic treatment to avoid passing on the infection. The key early signs are: sore throat, headache, fever, characteristic pinkish/red sandpapery rash appearing within a day or two of other symptoms, typically on the chest and stomach but then spreading to other parts of the body and bright red “strawberry” tongue.

Please be aware that there has been a significant increase in the number of cases of scarlet fever reported across all parts of the country including Bristol. Scarlet fever is most common in children aged between two and eight years old. It is spread by close contact with someone who has been infected by indirect contact with objects and surfaces contaminated with the bacterium. There is no vaccine but it can be treated with antibiotics, which minimise the risk of the complications which once made it a very serious illness. The key early signs are: sore throat, headache, fever, characteristic pinkish/red sandpapery rash appearing within a day or two of other symptoms, typically on the chest and stomach but then spreading to other parts of the body and bright red “strawberry” tongue.

Symptoms usually clear up after a week and the majority of cases will resolve without complications as long as the recommend course of antibiotics is completed.

Potential complications include ear infections, throat absences and pneumonia. Patients who do not show signs of improvement within a few days of starting treatment should seek urgent medical advice. As scarlet fever is highly contagious, children diagnosed with scarlet fever are advised to stay off school until at least 48 hours after the start of the antibiotic treatment to avid passing on the infection.

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