There has been a case of Scarlet Fever in our school and your child may have been exposed. We are bringing this to your attention because occasionally if a child develops Scarlet Fever and is not promptly treated, complications can happen.
What is Scarlet Fever?
Scarlet Fever is a scattered red rash and high temperature caused by the group A streptococcus bacteria. Occasionally these bacteria can cause kidney or heart complications. Prompt treatment with an antibiotic usually prevents these complications. Treatment will also prevent spread to others.
What are the symptoms of Scarlet Fever?
A scattered red rash that is often most marked in the creases of the joints and over the stomach. It usually blanches (goes white) when pressed on. The skin may feel rough to the touch, sometimes described as feeling like sandpaper. Someone with Scarlet Fever will have evidence of a Streptococcus infection somewhere, usually in the throat or sometimes on the skin.
What should I do if I think my child has it?
If your child develops any of these symptoms bring her/him to your doctor for examination. Tell the doctor that another child in school has Scarlet Fever.
If my child has Scarlet Fever what should I do then?
The doctor will usually prescribe an antibiotic for your child. It is important that the child takes the full course of medicine. Ask the doctor when it would be safe for your child should return to school. This will prevent the spread of infection to others.
Can other members of the family get it?
What can I do to prevent the spread of infection in the family?
Streptococcus bacteria is spread through contact with nose and mouth secretions so:
- Wash hands thoroughly after wiping nose.
- Wash hands thoroughly before preparing or eating food.
- Wash dishes well in hot soapy water.
- Do not share cups, straws, spoons, eating utensils etc.
- Do not share toothbrushes.
Mise le meas,
Ross Ó Corráin
**This letter has been copied from “Infection in School – A Manual for School Personnel” published by the Health Promotion Unit. Each child has received a copy of the note. Remember to ask your child each night if they have any notes from school for you in their bag.