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Scarlet fever and Group A Streptococcal Infection (GAS), including invasive GAS, have been at lower levels than normal for the last two years during the pandemic. This year, the spike in infection in spring lasted longer, and the spike expected in winter has started earlier. This resulting in higher levels of infection than normally expected at this time of year, particularly in younger children.

Scarlet Fever and Group A Streptococcal Infection

Symptoms can include: 


  • Sore throat 

  • Headache 

  • Fever 

  • A fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel 

  • On darker skin the rash can be more difficult to detect visually but will have a sandpapery feel. 

Contact NHS 111 or your GP if: 


  • your child is getting worse 

  • your child is feeding or eating much less than normal 

  • Fever 

  • your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration

  • your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38C, or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39C or higher  

  • your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty 

  • your child is very tired or irritable

Call 999 or go to A&E if:


  • your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs

  • there are pauses when your child breathes

  • your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue

  • your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake

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