Scarlet Fever and Group A Streptococcal infection are contagious infections which are commonest in children aged 2-8 years of age. They are more common in the winter and spring and are easily treated with antibiotics.
Scarlet Fever and Group A Streptococcal infection are caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus Pyogenes which is commonly carried on the skin and in the throat with no problems at all. Some strains of this bacteria can cause infections such as Scarlet Fever and other serious conditions such as meningitis, sepsis, cellulitis and Streptococcal Toxic Shock. It is spread through direct contact, and from coughs and sneezes. This means that hand hygiene is incredibly important, as is catching coughs and sneezes in tissues and throwing them away. It is also advisable to avoid sharing drinking and eating utensils.
The first signs of Scarlet Fever can present as a flu-like illness:
- high temperature
- sore throat
- inflamed glands in the neck
The Scarlet Fever rash typically appears 12-48 hours later. It tends to start on the chest and tummy, but then spreads. It starts as small red spots and then starts to look more red and angry, looking more like sunburn with goose pimples and feels like sandpaper.
A white coating may also be noted on the tongue; this peels leaving the tongue red and swollen with small bumps. This appearance is called “Strawberry Tongue.”
Treatment is with antibiotics as this will reduce the risk of complications.
While still uncommon, there has been an increase in invasive Group A Strep (iGAS) this year, which tragically has led to a number of deaths in children under the age of 10. Most Group A Strep infections are relatively mild leading to illness such as a sore throat, impetigo or cellulitis. Invasive Group A Strep (iGAS) occurs when the bacteria gets into tissues where it is not usually found such as the blood, muscle or lungs, and can cause more severe illnesses. Important signs to look out for are:
- high fever
- low blood pressure
- muddled thinking / increased lethargy / irritability
- a rash as in Scarlet Fever
- difficulty breathing.
It is worth noting that most people who come into contact with Group A Streptococcus, will remain well and symptom free or will develop mild symptoms. Contracting iGAS from a close contact is very rare.
Fever symptoms typically respond within 12-24 hours of starting antibiotics. Children can return to school and nursery (if they are well enough) after they have been on antibiotics for 24hrs, as this reduces the risk of transmission to other people.
If you are a member and have concerns about your child, please call your client line. We are here to give advice and treatment where needed. If your child is getting worse, if they are eating and drinking less, if they are having dry nappies or showing signs of dehydration, if they are having temperatures over 38°C (and under 3 months of age) or temperatures over 39°C ( and over 3 months of age), if they are sweaty, shaky, very tired or irritable, please seek medical advice.
Founded in 2013, Concierge Medical Practice has progressed to become a national award-winning private General Practice, providing the best healthcare to individual clients and businesses throughout Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Oxfordshire.
Our members have a named private doctor, providing on-going continuity of care. Our list size is kept small to guarantee availability and quality. We are a home-visiting practice, our private doctors are readily contactable for home visits, remote consultations, advice and support. Our team pride themselves on offering the highest quality of care to our members. Getting access to medical care at a time that is convenient for you is essential for your health and wellbeing. Our private doctors always have time for our members.
We have a strong network of secondary care and allied health professionals who complement our general practice services and whom we can readily access.
For more information contact us by phone on 01451 600900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.conciergemedical.co.uk.