Scarlet fever cases 'more than double' December average for Jersey

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Parents are asked to be vigilant of their children's symptoms as cases rise Credit: PA

The number of scarlet fever cases in Jersey has now climbed to more than double the monthly average.

Cases have been described 'continuing to rise', with 40 cases currently seen in December.

It comes as the UK has seen a significant increase in the number of scarlet fever and Strep A cases, which has lead to fatalities across the country.

Children aged two, up to those in year 11, can now receive a flu vaccination from their GP surgeries to minimise risk of transmission.

Symptoms of scarlet fever:

  • A sore throat

  • A headache

  • A fever above 38C

  • A fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel

  • A red face, but pale around the mouth and a white or red tongue

Islanders are at greater risk of catching scarlet fever if they have recently has the flu or chickenpox.

Parents in Guernsey have also been told this week not to 'panic' over cases of scarlet fever and Strep A, in the chance it could put the A&E department under high pressure.

Jersey's Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, said: “Scarlet fever is usually a mild but highly infectious illness and mainly affects children and young people.

"I’d urge parents to be vigilant to symptoms and seek medical advice from your GP, or the out of hours GP service.

“Early treatment with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia or a bloodstream infection, so it’s important to spot the symptoms and act quickly."