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Published On: Sat, Mar 22nd, 2014

Scarlet fever cases dramatically increase in England

British health officials are reporting an increase in the number of scarlet fever cases since last September prompting them to advise people to seek medical care if symptoms arise and medical practitioners to be on the alert for the infection, according to a Public Health England (PHE) press release Friday.

Group A Streptococcus

Group A Streptococcus Image/CDC

Authorities have reported a dramatic uptick in the bacterial infection with a total of 3,548 new cases since the season began in September 2013, compared to an average of 1,420 cases reported for the same period in the previous 10 years.

Dr. Theresa Lamagni, PHE’s head of streptococcal infection surveillance, said:

The first symptoms of scarlet fever often include a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Between 12 to 48 hours after this, a characteristic rash develops. Cases are more common in children although adults can also develop scarlet fever. Symptoms usually clear up after a week and the majority of cases can be treated with a course of antibiotics to reduce risk of complications.

PHE recommends that people with symptoms of scarlet fever see their GP. Once children or adults are diagnosed with scarlet fever we strongly advise them to stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid passing on the infection.

The last season to have this level of scarlet fever activity was 1989 to 1990 when 4,042 notifications were received, PHE notes.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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