Drop in new scarlet fever cases in the East Midlands

Latest figures show a decline in the number of new cases of scarlet fever being recorded weekly in the East Midlands.

Latest ITV News reports

Hundreds fall ill as scarlet fever cases soar in Midlands

More than 1,260 cases of scarlet fever have now been reported in the East Midlands - eight times the number of cases seen in the same period last year.

Between January and April 2013, a comparatively low 150 cases were treated.

Read: So what is scarlet fever and how can you stop it?

A distinctive pink-red rash, which feels like sandpaper to touch and can be itchy, is one of the symptoms of scarlet fever.
A distinctive pink-red rash is one of the symptoms of scarlet fever. Credit: ITV News Central

Scarlet fever is considered to be rare in the UK nowadays, with usually only around 2,000 and 4,000 cases reported each year across the country.

However, since the start of the year, there has been a surge in the number of cases seen in the East Midlands.

The rash feels like sandpaper to touch and can be itchy.
The rash feels like sandpaper to touch and can be itchy. Credit: ITV News Central

Scarlet fever is an extremely contagious bacterial infection, which can be transmitted via airborne droplets or by skin-to-skin contact.

Most cases nowadays are mild and easily treatable with antibiotics.

Advertisement

GP: Scarlet fever 'still uncommon' despite recent rise

A doctor has spoken out to assure parents that scarlet fever is still relatively rare, despite a sudden surge in the number of cases being reported in the East Midlands.

There are normally between 2,000 and 4,000 cases nationally each year - but since the start of January, 134 cases have already been reported to Public Health England in the region.

That is compared to just 56 in the same period last year.

In a chat with ITV News Central presenter Sameena Ali-Khan, Nottingham GP Dr Ian Campbell said while the disease was potentially fatal in previous years, with penicillin available now a complete cure in 10 days was now expected.

Read: So what is scarlet fever and how can you stop it?

Advertisement

Warning after scarlet fever outbreak in East Midlands

More than 130 cases of scarlet fever have been reported so far this year in the East Midlands, sparking a warning from health bosses in the region.

The bacterial infection, which causes a distinctive pink-red rash, is rare in the UK but there has been a surge in cases over the past few weeks.

Scarlet fever causes a distinctive pink-red rash
Scarlet fever causes a distinctive pink-red rash Credit: NHS Choices

Teachers and nursery staff in Lincolnshire have now been sent letters by the county council advising them on how to spot the warning signs of the condition.