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Major warning a new reported case of Scarlet Fever in Sefton

symptoms to look out for of the infectious disease

Health officials say there has been a number of new reported cases of the scarlet fever in the Sefton area over the past few weeks.

Public Health England figures suggest up to eight new cases have been reported in the borough, since the beginning of December.

What is scarlet fever?

Scarlet fever is an infectious disease which is spread through close contact with individuals carrying the organism that causes it or indirect contact with objects and surfaces contaminated with the bacterium.

Who does the fever affect?

Scarlet fever is mainly a childhood disease and is most common between the ages of two and eight years.

It was once a very dangerous infection, but is now much less serious since the introduction of antibiotic treatment, which is important to minimise the risk of complications. There is currently no vaccine for scarlet fever.

Scarlet fever is highly infectious so children or adults diagnosed with scarlet fever are advised to stay off school or work until at least 24 hours after starting antibiotic treatment to avoid passing on the infection.

How do you know if your child has it?

Parents can play a key role in recognising when their child needs to be seen by their GP.

Early signs to look out for include:

  • Sore throat, headache and fever.

  • Flushed cheeks and swollen tongue.

  • The characteristic pinkish red sandpapery rash appears within a day or two and it may be itchy, typically on the chest and stomach first but then spreading to other parts of the body.

What should you do if you suspect scarlet fever?

If you think you or someone in your household may have scarlet fever, you should seek advice from your GP as soon as possible, as prompt antibiotic treatment is needed.

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