Residents are being urged to ensure they are vigilant in spotting the signs for Scarlet Fever as cases rise across Greater Manchester.
Cases of scarlet fever occur throughout the year but have a seasonal pattern with the highest incidence between December and May, peaking in March and April.
The symptoms of scarlet fever often include:
- A sore throat
- Nausea and vomiting
This is followed by a fine red rash which typically 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, but it should feel like ‘sandpaper’. The face can be flushed red but pale around the mouth.
It’s important to be aware that there can be complications of Scarlet Fever.
Children who have had chickenpox recently are more likely to develop more serious infection and parents should remain vigilant for symptoms such as:
- A persistent high fever
- Cellulitis (skin infection)
- Arthritis (joint pain and swelling)
Professor Kate Ardern, Wigan Council’s director for public health, said: “It’s extremely important that everyone ensures they know what to look out for in cases of Scarlet Fever especially with young children.
“If you think you are showing signs of Scarlet Fever I would urge you to visit your local GP urgently to ensure you get the antibiotics needed to combat the infection, make sure that you take the full course of antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.
“It is advisable to stay at home, away from nursery, school or work for at least 24 hours after starting the antibiotic treatment, to avoid spreading the infection.”
If you think you, or your child have scarlet fever please visit your GP or contact the NHS on 111 as soon as possible.