Scarlet Fever Cases “Unusually High” In UK, Parents Warned

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The reason for the rising cases of scarlet fever in the UK is not clear.

The United Kingdom is reporting a surge in cases of scarlet fever, a contagious infection that mostly affects children. Cases of the disease are “unusually high” for this time of the year, with general practitioners reporting a high number of consultations, according to the BBC. The health authorities have asked parents to be aware of the symptoms so that treatment can begin on time and the spread of the disease can be checked, the outlet further said. The authorities also said that the current spike could be a result of government withdrawing measures implemented during the coronavirus pandemic.

Scarlet fever is a bacterial infection that causes rashes and swollen neck glands. It affects children under the age of 10, but adults too can be get it, said the BBC report.

Other symptoms include a sore throat, headache, high temperature, flushed cheeks and a swollen tongue. The rashes usually appear after a day or two.

“Due to the contagious nature of scarlet fever, if you or your child has the illness, please stay at home for at least 24 hours after starting treatment with antibiotics,” the National Health Service (NHS) of the UK said in an advisory.

Dr Naveen Puri, Associate Clinical Director at Bupa Health Clinics, told Liverpool Echo, “It is contagious and passed through coughing, sneezing or close contact, sharing bath towels, clothes, bed sheets or cutlery with the infected person.”

The bacteria responsible for scarlet fever is Streptococcus pyogenes, according to NHS website. It is also known as group A streptococcus, which are found on the skin and in the throat.

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