Rise in Scarlet Fever Cases Shows 49-Year High, Health Experts say - Dream Health

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Monday, 21 March 2016

Rise in Scarlet Fever Cases Shows 49-Year High, Health Experts say

Scarlet Fever on the Rise Since 1960s

According to Public Health England – PHE, there have been situations of scarlet fever in England and Wales which has risen to the highest level since the 1960s. There had been around 17,586 cases of scarlet fever in 2015. Analysts would have to trace back as far as the year 1967 when 19,305 cases had been reported to locate a year when the numbers had developed.

PHE has been cautioning all the health practitioners to be aware of the disease while assessing individuals. Scarlet fever is said to be common among children below the age of ten years old. PHE had also mentioned that around 600 cases were being highlighted up every week in England and additional increases are anticipated when the infection tends to come into its highest season which would be between late March and mid-April.

 According to PHE, the number of cases of scarlet fever has increased in the last three years. A PHE spokesman stated that the reason for the increase in cases was not known though added that it could reflect the long term natural cycles in disease incidence that was envisaged in several types of infection.

A Streptococcus – Spread Through Close Contact

Scarlet is said to be caused due to a bacteria known as Group A streptococcus which spread through close contact with individuals who could be carrying the organism, frequently in the throat or through contact with surface or object that could be polluted with bacterium. In early 1900s and through the 1930x, the number of scarlet fever cases in England as well as Wales often surpassed 100,000. With the introduction of antibiotics, the numbers since then had been gradually declining.

That was in 2014 when the health experts saw a substantial point in the number. Test samples had been organized from various areas of the country and experts were of the belief that no new strain of scarlet fever had come up. Similarly, early test also suggested that the infection had not become resistant to penicillin though this is being observed carefully and the explanation seems to be enigmatic.

The head of streptococcal infection surveillance, Dr Theresa Lamagni stated that the `systems usually clear up after a week and the majority of cases tend to resolve without complication as long as the recommended course of antibiotics is completed’.

Complications – Ear Infection/Throat Abscess/Pneumonia

She further added that the potential complication comprise of ear infection, throat abscess and pneumonia. Patients who do not tend to show signs of improvement within a period of few days of treatment should take urgent medical advice. The number of cases that were recorded in 2015, in Wales alone, had been reduced by 10% on the previous year from 1,375 cases to 1,234.

 However, these numbers tend to be still high in comparison to the figure in Wales for 2013 which was just 190 cases. Health Protection Scotland in the meanwhile had stated that the `current data indicates that cases have been rising through the early part of 2016 in Scotland, the number of laboratory reports seems to be similar to 2015 levels’.

Between September 2015 and March 2016, 6,156 cases had been reported in England which was a 7% rise on the same period in the earlier year. There were 363 cases in 2015, in Northern Ireland which was a fall of 41% on 2014 when 625 cases had been recorded. Northern Ireland had 199 cases in 2013.

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