PHE scarlet fever guideline

Baby in a field

A concise summary of the PHE guideline on the management of scarlet fever and its complications, and the recommended actions to effectively treat them

Caused by Group A Streptococcus, scarlet fever is a common childhood infection; once a very dangerous disease, thanks to the introduction of antibiotic treatments scarlet fever is now much less serious. Its incidence considerably decreased over the last century, with 3,000 to 4,000 cases registered each ear in England in the early 2000s. However, this incidence is now on the rise, with 14,000 cases diagnosed in 2014, and 16,000 in 2016.

This Guidelines for Nurses summary pinpoints the main symptoms to look out for when suspecting a scarlet fever infection, describe the possible complications, and details the appropriate actions and treatment to undertake in case of a confirmed diagnosis.

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