We have been made aware of a number of suspected cases of scarlet fever at another local school. A number of families have children at both schools. We are aware of one unconfirmed case of scarlet fever reported at our school after school closed today.
What is scarlet fever?
Scarlet fever is a contagious infection that mostly affects young children. It's easily treated with antibiotics.
Check if you have scarlet fever
The first signs of scarlet fever can be flu-like symptoms, including a high temperature of 38C or above, a sore throat and swollen neck glands (a large lump on the side of your neck).
Other symptoms include-
- A rash which appears a few days later, which looks like a red, patchy rash on a young child's chest and tummy. A pink-red rash comes out, which feels like sandpaper and looks like sunburn. It starts on the chest and tummy;
- A red and swollen tongue with a white coating. This peels, leaving it red and swollen, known as "strawberry tongue";
- A red, patchy rash on a young child's face. The rash does not appear on the face, but the cheeks can be flushed.
The symptoms are the same for children and adults, although scarlet fever is much rarer in adults.
See a GP if you or your child:
- has scarlet fever symptoms;
- does not get better in a week (after seeing a GP), especially if your child has recently had chickenpox;
- is ill again weeks after scarlet fever has cleared up – this can be a sign of a complication, such as rheumatic fever;
- is feeling unwell and has been in contact with someone who has scarlet fever.
Things you can do yourself
You can relieve symptoms of scarlet fever by:
- drinking cool fluids;
- eating soft foods if you have a sore throat;
- taking painkillers like paracetamol to bring down a temperature (do not give aspirin to children under 16);
- using calamine lotion or antihistamine tablets to stop itching.
Scarlet fever lasts for around a week.
You're infectious up to 7 days before the symptoms start until 24 hours after you take the first antibiotic tablets.
People who do not take antibiotics can be infectious for 2 to 3 weeks after symptoms start.
Exclusion from school
Children with scarlet fever should stay off nursery or school for 24 hours after starting antibiotics or, if not on antibiotics, until their fever is gone.
Is scarlet fever dangerous?
In the past, scarlet fever was a serious illness, but antibiotics mean it's now less common and easier to treat.
There's no evidence to suggest that getting scarlet fever during pregnancy will harm your baby. But it can make you feel unwell, so it's best to avoid close contact with anyone who has it. Contact a GP if you do get symptoms. The antibiotics used for scarlet fever are usually safe to take during pregnancy.
How to avoid spreading scarlet fever
Scarlet fever is very infectious and can easily spread to other people.
To reduce the risk of spreading scarlet fever:
- wash hands often with soap and warm water;
- use tissues to trap germs from coughs or sneezes;
- bin used tissues as quickly as possible.
- share cutlery, cups, towels, clothes, bedding or baths.
Meetings for class teachers with parents and children will take place as per the dates below-
- Blue class Monday 21 October from 8:55am:
- Yellow class Wednesday 23 October from 8:55am:
- All classes Wednesday 23 October 3:25pm to 5:35pm;
- Orange class Thursday 24 October from 8:55am.
For children in yellow, red, green and blue class it is very important that they attend the meeting with their parent. Please keep this in mind if your appointment is for Wednesday night. If your appointment is during a morning session, your child will be brought to the meeting from their classroom.