Warning over significant rise in scarlet fever cases

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THERE has been another significant rise in cases of scarlet fever.

More than 7,000 suspected bouts of the illness have now been reported since September, including more than 1,000 new cases between March 31 and April 6.

In Yorkshire, more than 500 cases have been detected in 2014 – up from 300 in the same period last year.

Parents, schools, and nurseries are being urged to be vigilant for the signs and symptoms of the illness.

Scarlet fever is mainly a childhood disease and is most common between the ages of two and eight. It was once very dangerous but is now less threatening although complications can happen especially if sufferers do not get treated.

There is no vaccine for scarlet fever.

Wendy Phillips, deputy director of health protection at the Public Health England’s centre in the region, said: “Anyone with symptoms of scarlet fever, which include a sore throat, headache and fever accompanied by a characteristic rash, should consult their GP.”