Scarlet Fever & Strep A

December 2022

Please see below information from North East Health Protection Team

Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria, and although usually a mild illness, it should be treated with antibiotics to minimise the risk of complications and reduce the spread to others.

The symptoms of scarlet fever include a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. This is followed by a fine red 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, but it should feel like ‘sandpaper’. The face can be flushed red but pale around the mouth.
If you think you, or your child, have scarlet fever:

  • 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, to avoid spreading the infection.

You can find more information at

Chicken pox

Chickenpox is usually a mild illness and children usually get better by themselves. Children with chickenpox should stay off school for five days from onset of rash and until all the lesions have crusted over.

You can find more information at

Children who have had chickenpox recently may develop complications if they also catch scarlet fever.

Parents should remain vigilant for symptoms in children who have had chickenpox such as

  • A persistent high fever – the skin around chickenpox blisters becoming red, hot or painful (signs of infection).
  • Joint pain and swelling.
  • Your child’s symptoms not improving or getting worse.

If you are concerned about the symptoms above, please seek medical assistance promptly. 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.

High temperature

High temperature is also common in children with infections including COVID-19. If your child experiences a high temperature (fever) or any of the other main symptoms of COVID-19 (new continuous cough and/or loss or 71 shares change to sense of smell or taste) your child should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. High Temperature (fever) in children.

Advice on what to do if you think your child has COVID can be found here:

Further information about how to manage fever in children can be found here:

General hygiene advice

The spread of most infectious illnesses is reduced through good hand hygiene. Please help your child to wash their hands frequently with warm water and soap, particularly after using the toilet, after using a tissue to catch a cough or sneeze, and before eating.

Particular care should be taken when handling nappies or tissues.

Any soiled clothes, bedding and towels should be washed on the hot cycle of a washing machine and where possible cups, utensils, towels and bedding should not be shared.

If you are concerned about any of the information in this letter or would like to discuss it further, please contact the team on 0300 303 8596.

Yours sincerely,
North East Health Protection Team