In the past year, the number of cases of Scarlet Fever in Peterborough has risen by 400 percent. The striking figures show that 98 people were struck by the disease in 2015, compared to 20 in 2014.
The outbreak has prompted Public Health England to issue guidance to worried parents. The bacterial infection mainly affects children and causes a distinctive pink-red rash.
‘Scarlet fever symptoms such as the scarlet rashes, red tongue and flushed face occur when the Streptococcus bacteria release toxins.’
Dr Theresa Lamagni, the body's head of streptococcal infection surveillance, said, "Whilst scarlet fever is not usually a severe illness it should be treated with antibiotics to reduce the risk of further complications and to minimize the risk of spread to others.
"Individuals should be mindful of the symptoms of scarlet fever, which include a sore throat, headache and fever with a sandpapery, fine, pinkish/red rash developing within one to two days of first symptoms.
"If you or your child develops any of these symptoms you should contact your GP. Children or adults diagnosed with scarlet fever are advised to stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others."