Scarlet fever should be treated with antibiotics to minimise the risk of complications and reduce the spread to others.
The symptoms of scarlet fever include sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. This is followed by a fine red skin rash which typically first appears on the chest and stomach, rapidly spreading to other parts of the body. On more darkly-pigmented skin, the scarlet rash may be harder to spot, but it should feel like 'sandpaper'. The face can be flushed red, but pale around the mouth.
If you think you, or your child, has scarlet fever:
Children who have had chickenpox recently are more likely to develop more serious infection during an outbreak of scarlet fever. Parents of children who have recently had chickenpox should remain vigilant for symptoms such as a persistent high fever, skin infections and swollen, painful joints. If you are concerned for any reason, please seek medical assistance immediately.
If your child has an underlying condition which affects their immune system, you should contact your GP or hospital doctor to discuss whether any additional measures are needed.
You can find more information in the FAQ sheet below.