Scarlet Fever: Know The Signs

Scarlet Fever: Know The Signs

Cases of scarlet fever in England are twice the average level for this time of year, according to Public Health England.

iNews reports:

Health officials have warned parents to look out for any signs of scarlet fever in their children after a rise in the number of cases reached a level not seen since the 1980s. There have been more than 15,500 cases of scarlet fever recorded in England between January and March this year, double the figure for last year and the highest number reported since 1982, according to Public Health England (PHE).

Scarlet fever is a highly contagious bacterial disease which mainly affects children. There is no vaccination against it but it's not usually serious if treated promptly with antibiotics.

Here's what to look out for:

  1. Rash – it feels rough to the touch and may look like sunburn
  2. Temperature – of 38C or above
  3. Sore throat
  4. Headache
  5. Sore or swollen glands – check your child's neck
  6. Strawberry tongue – swollen tongue which looks very red, like a strawberry

Public Health England offers this guidance to parents and carers on how to prevent scarlet fever:

  • Wash hands regularly
  • Don't share eating utensils with someone with scarlet fever
  • Wash or dispose of tissues / hankies used by anyone with an infection
  • Remember you can catch scarlet fever by inhaling airborne droplets if someone with the illness coughs or sneezes near you

Contact your GP (or call 111 for an urgent medical condition) if you think your child has symptoms of scarlet fever. If antibiotics are prescribed, make sure the course is finished, and keep your child at home for at least 24 hours after starting antibiotics in order to minimise the risk of spreading the infection.


  • Jenna W.

    She had Scarlett fever 2 yrs ago not sure if u can get it again tho the rash is very similar

  • Holley J.

    My daughter had it she was tired for a few days she got a red rash on her body and high temp. She was 2 and by day 5 she was back to normal

    • Jenny C.

      My son had it. It’s a raised sand paper textured rash, when you touch it, bright red tongue & cheeks. Their mouth is so sore they won’t eat. The doctors missed it for 5 days telling me it was just a throat infection. I kept going back again & again, sometimes several times a day as his temp was through the roof. Walking through town in just a nappy despite the fact there was 6 inches of snow on the ground hot, despite paracetamol, he just wouldn’t cool down, and finally they caught it. Another few hours and his organs would have started to shut down. It caused the skin in his hands & feet to de-shed very thickly. Like when a snake she’s it’s skin. It was horrid. He was monitored closely for 3 years afterwards to check his kidneys as he’d had a small amount of damage but luckily he grew out if it. So don’t just dismiss it, it can be very very serious.

    • Holley J.

      My daughter never had half of that and doc diagnosed it in mins.... No skin came off and her temp was 99-100 so normal safe range. Your poor boy that sounds awful

    • Vger G.

      Jenny Casey thats how my daughter was they 1st told me it was a throat infection the it was a viral then they didnt know what it was in the end she was so ill i took her A&E & they said it was scarlet fever & the drs just pumped her with antibiotics in hopes it would go away so they didnt have to fill out all the paper work that comes with discovering it xxx

    • Holley J.

      My doc just filled in a 2 second bit of paper and said he hadn't seen it in his 30 years of being a doctor. Judging by what you've said I'm now wondering if she had it at all

    • Mandy M.

      Same. My wee boy had a sore, red tongue (But he has geographic tongue anyway) and sandpaper skin. He was totally fine after antibiotics.

    • Holley J.

      Sand paper skin yes and mega swollen throat. Her left tonsil is still huge 2 years later seen loads of docs they all say it's normal

    • Natalie M.

      I'm 31 and suffering this just now! It's horrendous! I can't imagine a child having to go through it.

    • Carol W.

      My 15 yr old son had it 9 wks ago he was really poorly on the brink of being admitted into hospital due to serve dehydration this was caused due to high temp. We had to go to docs everyday to have key tones checked as he was so ill. Started like a virus ill for nearly 2 wks. Peeling skin was like a snake shedding it's skin. No effects now after 2 wks of antibiotics all clear now..very uncommon in children over 5.

  • Jo S.

    something else to look out for :eyes:

  • Donna L.

    I think this can come alongside chicken pox so worth a read x

  • Hannah M.

    Wish I’d seen this before, bless them! Xx

  • Rhiannon K.

    It all makes sense now doesn’t it! xx

  • Amy G.

    My daughter had this when all the snow was here, think she had chicken pox along with it but not sure. Red rash all over her front and back which was like heat rash, high temp and very snotty nose and throat infection. Antibiotics sorted it out.

  • Michelle B.

    Thanks Amy. Bit scary as it was 5 out of the symptoms. Seems to have settled now and she did eat a bit for tea. She didn’t even have milk or any of her favs after you left x

  • Amy B.

    Aw bless her! Hopefully she'll have a good night and she'll be back to her cheeky self tomorrow! Xxx

  • Michelle B.

    Ha ha hate it when’s she’s not. She’s been telling everyone that she had this rash ha ha x

What do you think?

Your comment