A Problem Shared… Scarlet Fever Comeback in Wales


A Problem Shared Health | by | 24th Mar 2016

A Problem Shared Scarlet Fever Featured Image

We were recently contacted by Elin, a mum from Anglesey who is concerned about scarlet fever making a comeback in Wales…

“I have heard that scarlet fever is making a comeback in Wales. I have a 4 year old so I am a bit worried. Can anyone tell me more about this and what I need to do if my child has it?”

According to NHS Wales, Scarlet fever, sometimes called scarlatina, is an infectious disease caused by group A streptococcus (GAS) bacteria (also known as Streptococcus pyogenes). It is highly infectious and can be caught through direct contact with an infected person or through the air via droplets from coughs or sneezes.

Our FamilyPoint advice to Elin

It’s understandable that you are worried about your child’s health and potential illnesses.

We can see that BBC News has recently talked about the rise in scarlet fever and that Dr Chris Williams, consultant epidemiologist for Public Health Wales, said: “Most cases of scarlet fever will clear up on their own, but it is still best to seek medical advice.”

Another article provides further information and hopefully some reassurance: –

  • Scarlet fever was once a very dangerous infection in the Victorian era, but has now become much less serious thanks to better medicine
  • Antibiotic treatment should be given to minimise the risk of complications, but there is currently no specific vaccine for scarlet fever.
  • Early signs to look out for include a sore throat, headache and fever with the characteristic pinkish sandpapery rash typically on the chest and stomach but then spreading to other parts of the body.
  • Parents who think they or their child may have scarlet fever should seek advice from their GP without delay as prompt antibiotic treatment is needed.

It seems that the best thing to do would be to contact your GP if you think your child has scarlet fever. They will be able to advise you on what to do next.

Here is a link for more information and what to do if you think your child has it.

If you feel this is something you’d like to talk to us about in more detail, you can contact us by phone – 0300 222 57 57, text – 07860 052 905 or instant message

We are open Monday – Thursday 6pm – 10pm and Friday & Saturday 10am – 2pm.

Do you have any advice for Elin?

Have you seen a scarlet fever scare in your local school recently? Please comment below with any suggestions and support you have.


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