In a follow-up on the scarlet fever surge in England since September 2017, Public Health England is now reporting 20,372 cases, an increase of over 8,000 cases in the past month.

In addition, the number of cases this 2017-2018 period is dramatically higher than average of 9,461 for the same period over the last 5 years.

Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director of National Infection Service at PHE, said:

We are urging parents to look out for the symptoms of scarlet fever such as a sore throat, fever and rash after seeing a significant upsurge in cases this year. The good news is that over the Easter holidays we have seen a slight decline in cases, which may indicate that activity has peaked.

Scarlet fever, which mainly affects young children, is not usually a serious illness and can be easily treated with the appropriate antibiotics. We encourage parents to contact their GP or NHS 111 if they spot symptoms of scarlet fever or have concerns.