The cases of Chickenpox and Scarlet Fever have been rising throughout the UK – this can be worrying for families, and it can sometimes be difficult to know when you need to see your GP or get advice from your health visitor.

We are pleased to announce we have just updated our iHV Parent Tips on Chickenpox and Scarlet Fever. These leaflets will give you advice on what to look out for, how to look after your child or baby at home, and where you can get more information and support from.

Remember, if you are worried about your child or baby, contact your health visitor, GP or call NHS 111 for advice and support.


Public Health England (PHE) is advising parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of scarlet fever following a substantial increase in reported cases across England in 2017 to 2018.

Scarlet fever is a very contagious, seasonal bacterial illness that mainly affects children and is not uncommon for this time of year.

The latest Health Protection Report showed 6,225 cases of scarlet fever had been reported since mid-September 2017, compared to 3,764 for the same period last season. There were 719 cases reported for the most recent week (22 to 28 January 2018).

Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness; PHE is advising parents to be on the lookout for scarlet fever symptoms, which include a sore throat, headache and fever with a characteristic fine, pinkish or red rash with a sandpapery feel. If signs of scarlet fever are suspected, it is important to contact your local GPor NHS 111. Early treatment with antibiotics is important and can help reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia and the spread of the infection. 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.

PHE is also urging GPs, paediatricians, and other health practitioners to be mindful when assessing patients and promptly notify local health protection teams of cases and outbreaks.

For further information for on scarlet fever visit the NHS Choices website.

Guidelines for the management of scarlet fever are also available from the PHE website.

Guidelines to help health protection teams control outbreaks of scarlet fever in schools, nurseries and other childcare settings.

These guidelines were first developed by the national incident management team (IMT) in response to the upsurge in scarlet fever in April 2014 and subsequently updated by a subgroup of the IMT in 2016 and 2017 to reflect the changing epidemiology, evidence and feedback on implementation in practice.

A set of scarlet fever FAQs – intended for health professionals to give to the public – are available at: Scarlet fever: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment.

Please also share our iHV Parent Tips on Coping with Scarlet Fever