Scarlet Fever and Group Strep A infections: December 2022
Dear Parents and Carers,
The school has received several communications from the Department for Education and Norfolk County Council regarding the increased Scarlet Fever and Group Strep A infections compared to normal at this time of year. It is important that families, especially those with younger children, are aware of the risks and the symptoms.
The following information summarises the communication we have received:
There is no evidence that a new strain is circulating, and the increase is most likely related to high amounts of social mixing.
What are Scarlet Fever and Strep A?
Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria called Group A streptococci (Strep A). The bacteria usually cause a mild infection that can be easily treated with antibiotics.
In very rare occasions, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause an illness called invasive Group A strep (iGAS).
What are the symptoms of Strep A/scarlet fever?
Strep A infections can cause a range of symptoms that parents should be aware of, including:
If a child becomes unwell with these symptoms, parents and carers should contact their GP practice or contact NHS 111 (which operates a 24/7 service) to seek advice.
If a child has scarlet fever, advise they stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.
parents and carers should trust their own judgement and if their child seems seriously unwell call 999 or go to A&E if:
- a child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
- there are pauses when a child breathes
- a child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
- a child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake.
How to help prevent Strep A?
To prevent the spread of Strep A, UKHSA advises children, young people to implement good hand and respiratory hygiene practices. The school will reinforce this message over the next few days and next week.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information,