The Director of Public Health has told Peterborough City Council that cases of Scarlet Fever have risen by 85% in the city in two years.
Scarlet fever is a common childhood infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A streptococcus (GAS). It is most common between the ages of 2 and 8 years, although children and adults of all ages can develop it.
The annual health protection report for Peterborough City Council for 2016 has just been released and reveals that cases of Scarlet Fever have risen from just 15 in 2013 to 98 in 2015.
The report says that the city’s rise in cases is in keeping with the trend across the country, but early intervention is critical.
The council report states: “Similar to the rest of the country, scarlet fever seasonal activity has remained elevated across Peterborough, following the increase in notifications seen last year.
“Since the start of 2015 there has been a rapid and higher than expected increase in notifications compared to the previous year.
“Although scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, patients can develop complications such as an ear infection, throat abscess, pneumonia, sinusitis or meningitis.
“Clinicians should also be mindful of a potential increase in invasive GAS (iGAS) infection which tends to follow trends in scarlet fever.
“Early recognition and prompt initiation of specific and supportive therapy for patients with iGAS infection can be lifesaving.”