Scarlet fever (Strep A): Advice for parents and carers

December 13, 2022

Our colleagues at NHS Sussex have issued advice to parents and carers who may be worried around the cases of Scarlet Fever and ‘Strep A’ across the UK:

What is Scarlet Fever?

Strep A (Group A streptococcus) is a common bacteria which causes a range of infections including Scarlet fever.

Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, but it is highly infectious, and we are seeing more cases than we usually do at this time of year.

Early treatment of Scarlet fever with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia or a bloodstream infection.

What is Strep A?

In very rare cases, Strep A bacteria can cause a more serious illness known as ‘Invasive Group A Strep’ where hospital treatment may be required.

These infections are caused by the bacteria getting into parts of the body where it is not normally found, such as the lungs or bloodstream.

What are the symptoms of Scarlet Fever and ‘Strep A’

The symptoms for Scarlet Fever and Strep A are detailed in full, along with pictures, on the NHS website:

Scarlet fever –

Strep A

What should I do if I am worried about my child’s health?

It is important to highlight there are lots of viruses that cause sore throats, colds and coughs at this time of year, and the majority of these are resolved without medical intervention.

If you are concerned about your child’s health, please visit or call 111 directly and you will be signposted to the right care.
More information

For more information please visit the:

NHS Sussex Website:

UK Health Security Agency advice:

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