Urgent warning to parents as cases rise of dangerous Victorian disease | The Sun

PARENTS have been urged to be on the look out for signs of a dangerous Victorian illness as cases continue to rise.

Infections of scarlet fever have increased in recent weeks, and health chiefs have warned Brits to be 'vigilant'.

Data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has revealed that Derbyshire has seen a spike in infections, with 53 being detected in the last four weeks alone.

In last eight weeks, there has been 103 cases in the area, with experts claiming that the jump could be down to low immunity levels.

Director of public health at Derbyshire County Council said measures such as social distancing and other pandemic policies may have had an impact.

Dean Wallace said the pandemic and students not being in close contact with each other has led to lower background levels of immunity.

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He explained: “It has not been a major issue in the past and you just need to treat the symptoms.

“What we are seeing is the impact of the pandemic with diseases that we have seen before popping up in higher levels than previously.

“People need to be vigilant and monitor the symptoms and to contact their GP (if they see symptoms) and to follow basic hygiene rules such as washing their hands regularly," he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

He added that health chiefs are now seeing an influx of other illnesses which they had seen much lower levels of during the pandemic, such as scarlet fever and norovirus.

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Another expert warned that the East Midlands as a whole has seen a rise in cases – but added that this isn't uncommon.

Dr Samia Latif, consultant in communicable disease for UKHSA in the East Midlands added: "Scarlet fever is highly contagious, however, is not usually serious and can easily be treated with antibiotics to reduce the risk of complications and spread to others.

“To limit the spread of scarlet fever, remember to practice good hand hygiene by washing hands with warm water and soap, not sharing drinking glasses or utensils, and covering the noise and mouth when coughing or sneezing.”

The data comes after it was revealed that cases of Victorian illnesses such as tuberculosis, measles and mumps have all risen dramatically in one area.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, cases of such conditions are at the highest levels seen since 2017.

Some patients were found to have these bugs – even when they hadn't initially been admitted for them.

The 6 signs of scarlet fever you need to know

The NHS says the key scarlet fever signs are:

  1. High temperature
  2. Sore throat
  3. Swollen neck glands
  4. A rash
  5. White coating on the tongue
  6. Red cheeks

If signs of scarlet fever are suspected, it is important to contact your local GP or NHS 111.

Early treatment of scarlet fever with antibiotics is important as it helps reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia and the spread of the infection to others.

Cases were up 23 per cent from those seen in 2020/21.

They had previously dipped during the coronavirus pandemic as people were unable to able to mix – and therefore other infections were unable to spread as easily.

Prior to this, these illnesses had been rising year-on-year.

The figures, seen by LeedsLive show that there were 22,659 cases of gout diagnosed last year – up 26 per cent.

Key signs of gout include swelling around the joints and peeling, itchy and scaly skin around the area.

Cases of vitamin D deficiency were up 22 per cent with an increase also being seen in tuberculosis and cases of rickets.

But the area also recorded 55 cases of scarlet fever, an illness the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has urged Brits to be on the lookout for.

The UKHSA  issued a warning after 3,488 notifications of scarlet fever were reported between September 2021 and March 2022 in England.

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The number is compared to an average of 8,605 for this same period in the previous five years.

Scarlet fever is usually a mild but highly infectious illness, prompting UKHSA to urge parents to be on the lookout for symptoms.

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