Two cases of scarlet fever confirmed at Scarborough school

Gladstone Road Primary School. pic Richard Ponter 155106a

Gladstone Road Primary School. pic Richard Ponter 155106a

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Parents at a Scarborough school are being urged to look out for symptoms of scarlet fever after two pupils were diagnosed.

Gladstone Road Junior School has confirmed two pupils have contracted the Victorian disease as it makes an startling comeback across the UK.

The primary school, in Wooler Street, is urging parents to be vigilant and mindful of symptoms.

Headteacher Keith Wright said: “There is two confirmed cases. It’s a low number for the size of the school but we are being proactive in informing people so they can be aware. It is precautionary.”

The school has informed parents of the confirmed cases and has provided information and advice.

Mr Wright added: “The message was to advise parents so they can look out for any symptoms and they can act on them.

“We want to raise awareness so people can be vigilant.”

Of more than 800 pupils, only two have been confirmed to have contracted the disease.

The symptoms of scarlet fever include a sore throat, headache, high temperature ( 38.3C/101F) or above ), flushed face and swollen tongue.

The distinctive pink-red rash develops 12 to 48 hours later.

Outbreaks have risen dramatically with 6,157 new cases confirmed since September according to Public Health England.

As scarlet fever is highly contagious, children or adults diagnosed are advised to stay off school or work until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment.

March and April are the peak time for the disease and it mainly infects children aged between two and eight.

Figures show that 17,586 cases were reported in England in 2015, the highest total since 1967, compared to just 1,678 in 2005.

Dr Theresa Lamagni, PHE’s head of streptococcal infection surveillance, said: “Parents can play a key role in recognising when their child needs to be seen by their GP.

“Early signs to look out for are sore throat, headache and fever with the characteristic pinkish/red sandpapery rash appearing within a day or two, typically on the chest and stomach but then spreading to other parts of the body. Individuals who think they or their child may have scarlet fever should seek advice from their GP without delay as prompt antibiotic treatment is needed.

“Symptoms usually clear up after a week and the majority of cases will resolve without complication as long as the recommended course of antibiotics is completed. “Potential complications include ear infection, throat abscess and pneumonia. Patients who do not show signs of improvement within a few days of starting treatment should seek urgent medical advice.”

Scarlet Fever was once a very dangerous infection, but has now become much less serious. Antibiotic treatment should be given to minimise the risk of complications.

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