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Medical Advice

Scarlet Fever

Public Health England warns that at this time of year there is often an increase in the number of cases of scarlet fever. Usually a mild illness, it is highly infectious. Parents and carers are advised to be on the lookout for symptoms, which include a sore throat, headache and fever with a characteristic fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel. If signs of scarlet fever are suspected, it is important to contact local GPs or to call NHS 111.

The disease is spread by inhaling or ingesting respiratory droplets or by direct contact with nose and throat discharges especially during sneezing and coughing.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: ‘We have seen more cases of scarlet fever in the last few years than we’ve been used to – we’re unsure why this is, but if a patient thinks that they, or their child, might have symptoms, then they should seek medical advice.’

Further information on scarlet fever here: