Big increase in scarlet fever
An increase in scarlet fever cases – with numbers more than doubling in Wiltshire, Avon and Gloucestershire compared to usual – is being reported by Public Health England.
Public Health England (PHE) said that there is a “continued significant increase” in the number of cases in England.
In the last week of March officials were notified of 883 new cases. This is the highest weekly total since 1982 when weekly records began, a spokeswoman said.
More than 5,000 new cases were reported in England since the season began in September 2013, compared to an average of 1,420 cases reported for the same period in the previous ten years.
More than 250 cases have been reported in Wiltshire, Avon and Gloucestershire compared to 115 in the same period in 2012/13.
Scarlet fever is an infectious disease caused by group A streptococcus bacterium.
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.
This most recent increase is likely to be part of that cycle, says Public Health England.
Page last updated: April 10th, 2014 at 4:26 pm