Scarlet fever cases confirmed in schools near Southampton

Cases of Scarlet fever have been <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Cases of Scarlet fever have been (Image: PA)

CONFIRMED cases of scarlet fever have been reported in schools near Southampton.

Foxhills Junior and Foxhills Infant School in Ashurst are just two of the schools to have reported cases as Strep A infections continue to rise.

In an email to parents seen by the Daily Echo, headteacher Lucy Howe said: "Following a confirmed case of Scarlet fever and the possibility of other cases, we have contacted the health protection team for advice and guidance.

"We have been advised by the HPT that 'we are seeing a national increase in Group A streptococcus infections in young children. Group A streptococcus is a bacteria that can cause a number of different illnesses including impetigo, scarlet fever, sore throats and skin infections. Very rarely it can cause more a serious illness of invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS)'."

Cherbourg Primary School in Eastleigh has also reported "a small number" of cases of scarlet fever.

A letter containing guidance and advice was sent out to parents on November 29.

It said: "Children who have had chickenpox or influenza (‘flu) recently are more likely to develop more serious infection during an outbreak of scarlet fever and so parents should remain vigilant for symptoms such as a persistent high fever, cellulitis (skin infection) and arthritis (joint pain and swelling).

"If you are concerned for any reason please seek medical assistance immediately."

Concerns over Strep A are growing across the city after a pupil from a school in Waterlooville became the eighth child to have died from the invasive form of Streptococcus A.

Two GP surgeries in Totton said they were being inundated with calls from concerned parents.

The symptoms of scarlet fever include a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

A rash making the skin feel like sandpaper appears 12 to 48 hours later.

The condition is normally treated with antibiotics.

Parents whose child is unwell are urged to contact their GP or call 111 and 999 in an emergency.

Simon Bryant, Director of Public Health at Hampshire County Council, said: "We are working closely with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to monitor the situation regarding Group A Streptococcal infections, including scarlet fever, across Hampshire and will provide, whenever and wherever required, appropriate advice, guidance and information to educational settings and local communities.

"This includes raising awareness amongst parents and carers of the signs and symptoms of Group A Streptococcal infections, and what to do if a child develops these, including invasive Group A Streptococcal disease (iGAS).

"A number of schools have issued advice to parents based on the UKHSA national guidance. If a school has a number of cases, they will be using the guidance and take the necessary action as required. Parents should still seek medical advice if they are concerned that their child is seriously unwell."

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