Good afternoon, everyone.
As always, I try and keep families up to date with any developments in school. Without intending any alarm, it has come to my attention that we have a confirmed case of Scarlet Fever in Chestnut Class (Reception Class). This class has had a number of pupils off, this week, with a variety of ailments and this raised our alert level.
Once notified, I immediately sought advice from UKSHA in this matter. The communication below is what they have sent for me to cascade to families:
Dear parent / guardian,
We have been informed that a number of children who attend the school/nursery have been diagnosed with confirmed or suspected Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infection. This can cause a number of different illnesses:
Scarlet Fever – scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, however it should be treated with antibiotics to minimise the risk of complications and reduce the spread to others. Scarlet fever includes non-specific symptoms such as sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, followed by a fine red ‘sandpaper’ like 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. The face can be flushed red but pale around the mouth. Scarlet fever – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Strep Throat – this is a more severe or longer-lasting infection in the throat and tonsils. Children are likely to be more unwell generally with difficulty swallowing due to the pain.
Impetigo – this is a bacterial skin infection. It will start with red sores or blisters. These will burst quickly and leave crusty, golden-brown patches. Impetigo – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
For more information click here Group A Strep – What you need to know – UK Health Security Agency (blog.gov.uk)
Please remember that there are lots of viruses that cause sore throats, rashes, colds and coughs circulating at the moment. Many of these are mild and self-limiting and do not need any medical intervention
However, if you think you, or your child, may have a GAS infection:
- See your GP or contact NHS 111 as soon as possible
- Make sure that you/your child takes the full course of any antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.
- Stay at home, away from nursery, school, or work for at least 24 hours after starting the antibiotic treatment (48 hours for impetigo or until all lesions have crusted over/healed), to avoid spreading the infection.
- Reduce the spread by practicising good hand and respiratory hygiene
Children who have Flu or chickenpox at the same time as a GAS infection are more likely to develop a serious infection (Invasive GAS), and 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. 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.
Health Protection Team
UK Health Security Agency South West