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Scarlet fever outbreak: Spot the signs

Scarlet_Fever

9:00am 15th February 2017
(Updated 10:01am 18th February 2017)

Parents in Lancashire are being urged to watch out for scarlet fever.

It's as there's been another increase in cases across the country.

The outbreak is a trend we've seen over recent years - last winter there were 12,906 cases, up from 5,740 the year before.

It can cause a sore throat, high temperature and flushed cheeks as well as a blotchy rash, and often strikes after bacterial skin infections such as impetigo.

Here's what you need to look out for:


Rash

  • Red blotches are the first sign of the rash. These turn into a fine pink-red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch and looks like sunburn. It may also be itchy.
  • The rash usually starts on the chest and stomach, but soon spreads to other parts of the body, such as the ears, neck, elbows, inner thighs and groin.
  • The rash doesn't usually spread to the face. However, the cheeks become flushed and the area just around the mouth stays quite pale. The rash will turn white if you press a glass on it.
  • The rash usually fades after about a week, but the outer layers of skin, usually on the hands and feet, may peel for several weeks afterwards.
  • In milder cases, sometimes called scarlatina, the rash may be the only symptom.


Other symptoms may include:

 

  • swollen neck glands
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea or vomiting
  • red lines in the folds of the body, such as the armpit, which may last a couple of days after the rash has gone
  • a white coating on the tongue, which peels a few days later leaving the tongue red and swollen (this is known as strawberry tongue)
  • a general feeling of being unwell

 

For more details visit the NHS website HERE



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