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UK Parents Warned About Scarlet Fever

Update Date: Feb 17, 2017 08:46 AM EST

After a rise of reported cases, with eight cases in Surrey and two in Reeigate and Banstead, parents are advised to familiarize themselves with scarlet fever symptoms. The Public Health England showed 546 cases were reported across the North West from September to January. There were 74 cases reported also in the South East of England with a further 55 in London.

Nationally, 3,325 people get bacterial illness in the skin across the country. It mainly affects children and is highly contagious. Symptoms include sore throat, high temperature, swelling of the tongue and pinkish rash. The infection can be treated with antibiotics and paracetamol.

According to Surrey Mirror, scarlet fever is a bacterial illness that is caused by the streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. Outbreaks often occur in nurseries and schools where children play in close contact with one another.

People can be infected one or two days before symptoms start to show. Some rare cases may cause heart inflammation if a rash started on the chest that spread to the heart. Around 400 cases of scarlet fever are reported every week according to Lancashire Telegraph.

Scarlet fever usually occurs in children between two and eight years old. It his highly contagious and can be caught by breathing in bacteria from an infected person. A PHE spokesperson said infected children or adults are advised to stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection.

Without antibiotic treatment, a child will be infectious for up to two weeks after symptoms appear. Parents are advised to give children cool fluids and soft food. Paracetamol with bring down fever or high temperatures. Calamine lotion or antihistamine can help relieve itching caused by the rash.

To help prevent the spread of scarlet fever make sure to wash your hands, parents should show children how to wash hands thoroughly with warm soapy water. Avoid sharing utensils such as drinking glasses and food.

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