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Children's health

02nd Dec 2022

Third child dies from scarlet fever in UK- here are the symptoms to look out for

Kat O'Connor

A third child has died from scarlet fever in the UK.

There have been recorded outbreaks of scarlet fever in schools in both Wales and England. A child in London has passed away from the infection, as well as two others in Surrey and Wales.

The harrowing news comes after a spike in scarlet fever cases.

According to The Sun, the child was a pupil at St. John’s School, Green Man Gardens.

A child from North Ealing Primary School has also been hospitalised with an “unconfirmed illness”.

Multiple children are currently out of school with scarlet fever.

The bacterial infection is caused by Group A streptococcal (iGAS), also known as invasive strep A.

The UK’s Health Security Agency does not believe the cases are related, but they have noticed a rise in cases this winter.

Public Health Agency has also noticed a rise in cases in schools and nurseries across Northern Ireland.

However, the case numbers are “above the level” typically recorded in the winter months.

But what are the symptoms?

Scarlet fever tends to affect children under the age of 10.

Parents have been advised to look out for the following symptoms;

  • A fever
  • A rash
  • Sore throat
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Swollen tongue

According to the HPSC, parents should look out for a rash in the creases of joints and over their child’s stomach.

The rash typically feels rough, like sandpaper.

A child’s tongue may be covered in a white coating, which will eventually peel. The tongue will then appear red and swollen, this is often called ‘strawberry tongue’.

The HPSC has reassured parents that scarlet fever is not usually serious. It is a mild infection with few complications, but some children may experience more serious symptoms.

Rare complications include pneumonia, and kidney, and heart damage.

However, scarlet fever can be treated with antibiotics and this will help prevent these complications.

Related Links:

What are the symptoms of scarlet fever?

6-year-old child dies from bacterial outbreak at school in England