Strep A and Scarlet Fever

The practice is aware of parental concern around cases of Group Strep A.  The information below is taken from Public Health:

Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, but it is highly infectious. Therefore, look out for symptoms in your child, which include:

  • A sore throat
  • Headache
  • Fever

Along with a fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel. On darker skin, the rash can be more difficult to detect visually but will have a sandpapery feel.

Contact the practice as early as possible in the day, or if you cannot get through to us or we are closed please call NHS 111 if you suspect your child has scarlet fever, because early treatment of scarlet fever with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia or a bloodstream infection.

If your child has scarlet fever, keep them at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.

As a parent, if you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement. Contact the practice during our opening hours or NHS 111 if the practice is closed or you cannot get through to us if:

  • Your child is getting worse
  • Your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
  • Your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
  • Your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38°C, or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39°C or higher
  • Your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty
  • Your child is very tired or irritable

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • Your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
  • There are pauses when your child breathes
  • Your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
  • Your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake

Good hand and respiratory hygiene are important for stopping the spread of many bugs. By teaching your child how to wash their hands properly with soap for 20 seconds, using a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes, and keeping away from others when feeling unwell, they will be able to reduce the risk of picking up or spreading infections.

Please see the When Should I Worry Booklet for help to know when to seek medical attention for your child in a range of illnesses.

More information about scarlet fever can be found by visiting NHS: Scarlet Fever.

UK Public health advice about group strep A is available at Gov.uk: UKHSA update on scarlet fever and invasive Group A strep.