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Scarlet fever confirmed in the county
SIX cases of scarlet fever have been confirmed in the county this morning (Thurs).
Public Health England (PHE) is yet to issue specifics about the cases reported so far.
The Hereford Times understands that some of the six are within a single school.
Scarlet fever is more common in children than adults.
As yet, the county’s own public health team is not on any kind of outbreak alert.
Health practitioners such as GP surgeries are, however, now asked to be mindful of scarlet fever and its symptoms when assessing patients.
PHE saw a rise in scarlet fever notifications across England over the past month to a total of 868 - up from 591 over the same period last year.
Typically, there are seasonal rises in scarlet fever between December and April each year, and also a cycle of increases and decreases in incidence that repeats over a period of several years.
Dr Theresa Lamagni, PHE’s head of streptococcal infection surveillance said the initial first symptoms of scarlet fever often include a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Between 12 to 48 hours after this, a characteristic rash develops.
Symptoms usually clear up after a week and in the majority of cases remain reasonably mild providing a course of antibiotics is completed to reduce the risk of complications.
Those diagnosed are advised to stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid passing on the infection.
“Public Health England publishes guidance for healthcare settings and schools where infections can spread easily. Where outbreaks occur, local health protection teams are on hand to provide a rapid response, effective outbreak management and authoritative advice.
"We will continue to closely monitor these increases and work with healthcare professionals to try and halt the spread of infection,” said Dr Lamagni.
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