Cases of scarlet fever are rising sharply in the West and infection rates could now soar as children have returned to school after the Easter holidays.
Since September there have been 854 cases in this region, which is more than in the whole of 2013.
The highly infectious disease tends to affect young children but adults are also at risk.
In the last week alone there have been 48 cases in our region:-
- 21 in Gloucestershire
- 11 in Wiltshire
- 6 in Somerset
- 5 in Bristol
- 3 in Dorset
- 2 in Bath and North East Somerset
Scarlet fever has made a comeback as the number of cases reported in the past year has seen a substantial rise. We speak to Melissa Massimino, whose daughter suffered from the bacterial illness which is common among two to nine-year-olds.
It's an illness we associate with times gone by, not modern day, but Scarlet Fever has made a comeback. The highly contageous infection mainly affects children under 10 and sees them covered in a distinctive red rash.
Each year there's, on average, around 1,800 cases of scarlet fever nationally, this year there's been over 7,000 cases, and in the South alone there's already been more than 1,200 cases.
At the start of a new school term parents are being warned to look out for the symptoms. Andrew Pate has been to meet two-year-old, Sienna, who has recently suffered with the infection.
New figures have revealed an alarming rise in the number of cases of scarlet fever in the South West.
According to Public Health England, there were 239 cases in 2013 to 2014 compared to 96 in 2012 to 2013.
Since last year there's been an increase of 23.5% in the number of scarlet fever cases in the South West.
The agency says it's investigating the reasons behind the increase.