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Published On: Fri, Jan 13th, 2012

Scarlet fever outbreak in Baltimore elementary school

City health officials in Baltimore sent letters home Thursday to parents of students at George Washington Elementary to keep an eye on possible symptoms of scarlet fever after three students at the school were confirmed positive this week.

The letter urges parents of students at the school to contact their medical provider if a child has symptoms.

According to a WJZ Baltimore report, school authorities are having the southwest Baltimore school sanitized to prevent it from spreading to more students. Disinfection will be performed on all surfaces and handrails.

Dr. Nardine Assaad, a pediatrician at St. Joseph Medical Center told the news source that this is actually common this time of year, we’re seeing multiple kids with sore throats, strep throat and/or scarlet fever.

Scarlet fever is a form of group A strep disease, however this disease can follow strep throat.

In addition to the symptoms of strep throat, a red rash appears on the sides of your chest and abdomen. It may spread to cover most of the body.

City health officials in Baltimore sent letters home Thursday to parents of students at George Washington Elementary to keep an eye on possible symptoms of scarlet fever after three students at the school were confirmed positive this week.

The letter urges parents of students at the school to contact their medical provider if a child has symptoms.

According to a WJZ Baltimore report, school authorities are having the southwest Baltimore school sanitized to prevent it from spreading to more students. Disinfection will be performed on all surfaces and handrails.

Dr. Nardine Assaad, a pediatrician at St. Joseph Medical Center told the news source that this is actually common this time of year, we’re seeing multiple kids with sore throats, strep throat and/or scarlet fever.

Scarlet fever is a form of group A strep disease, however this disease can follow strep throat.

In addition to the symptoms of strep throat, a red rash appears on the sides of your chest and abdomen. It may spread to cover most of the body.

The rash appears as tiny, red pinpoints and has a rough texture like sandpaper. If you press the rash it loses color and turns white. You may also see dark red lines in the folds of skin.

Also you may get a bright strawberry-red tongue and a rosy face, while the area around the mouth remains pale. Skin on the tips of the fingers and toes often peel after you get better.

You may also have fever, nausea and vomiting in more severe cases.

You get scarlet fever the same way you get strep throat; through direct contact with throat mucus, nasal discharge and saliva from an infected person.

Scarlet fever is usually diagnosed by doing a throat culture or a rapid strep antigen test. Treatment, like with strep throat, is with antibiotics.

How do you prevent scarlet fever?

The following recommendations come from Kid’s Health:

In everyday life, there is no perfect way to avoid the infections that cause scarlet fever. When a child is sick at home, it’s always safest to keep that child’s drinking glasses and eating utensils separate from those of other family members, and to wash these items thoroughly in hot soapy water. Wash your own hands frequently as you care for a child with a strep infection.

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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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