Dear parents and carers,
You may have heard in recent news reports about a rise in Strep A and Scarlet Fever cases. The Department for Education are working closely with the UK Health Security Agency to monitor the increased cases nationally. They have advised schools to share the following information with parents to increase vigilance:
What are Scarlet Fever and Strep A?
Scarlet Fever is caused by bacteria called Group A streptococci (Strep A). The bacteria usually cause a mild infection that can be easily treated with antibiotics. In very rare occasions, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause an illness called invasive Group A strep (iGAS).
What are the symptoms of Strep A/scarlet fever?
Strep A infections can cause a range of symptoms that parents should be aware of, including:
- Sore throat
- A fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel
If your child becomes unwell with these symptoms, please contact your GP practice or contact NHS 111 (which operates a 24/7 service) to seek advice. If a child has Scarlet Fever, it is advised they stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others however please seek medical advice.
Parents are encouraged to trust their own judgement and if your child seems seriously unwell call 999, or go to A&E if:
- a child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
- there are pauses when a child breathes
- a child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
- a child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake.
If your child is unwell and the above advice becomes relevant to you, please keep school informed and follow the normal absence-reporting procedures calling the school office on 0121 464 5661.
Thank you in advance for your co operation, I hope this information is of use. I am wishing you all a peaceful, restful and healthy Christmas break.
Mrs Z Thewlis
Head of School