An outbreak of Scarlet Fever in Scotland has promoted health professionals to issue urgent advice to the public with cases on the rise.

NHS Borders Health Protection team say they are currently monitoring “unseasonably high numbers of scarlet fever in the community”. Anyone with suspected symptoms has been urged to contact them so that early treatment can be given with antibiotics.

Scarlet fever is said to be on the rise with the a surge in cases in the UK and globally. The bacterial illness affects mainly children under ten. Between the early 18th century until penicillin was discovered in the 20th century, outbreaks of scarlet fever was common. While cases dipped dramatically in the years since then, outbreaks are becoming more frequent in recent years.

Parents have been warned to be aware of the signs so that early treatment can be given.

Initial symptoms usually include a sore throat, headache and a high temperature (38.3C or above), flushed cheeks and a swollen tongue followed by a distinctive pink-red rash a day or two later.

Signs of the illness can include a white or red tongue. (Image: NHS)

It is highly contagious and those with the illness should stay at home for at least 24 hours after starting treatment with antibiotics. The Victorian disease normally clears up after a week but it’s highly recommended that you contact your GP.

Further information about scarlet fever can be found here:…/infections…/scarlet-fever


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