The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has recently reported a significant increase in cases of scarlet fever, mumps, and measles from September 2022 to March 2023. According to the UKHSA, there were 52,183 notifications of scarlet fever during this period, compared to 30,768 cases reported in the previous year.
Scarlet fever is a highly contagious infection that can cause serious illness. Initial symptoms may resemble those of the flu, including a high temperature, sore throat, and swollen neck glands. However, a distinguishing characteristic of scarlet fever is the appearance of a rash, which develops around 48 hours after the initial symptoms. The rash typically consists of small, raised bumps on the chest and stomach and may feel rough to the touch. Other accompanying symptoms may include a white coating on the tongue, which eventually peels off to reveal a red, swollen tongue with little bumps. Scarlet fever requires treatment with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor, and the infection should clear within a week of starting the treatment.
In addition to scarlet fever, the UKHSA also reported an increase in cases of mumps and measles. There were 1,628 suspected cases of mumps and 397 suspected cases of measles between October and December 2022. Mumps is a contagious viral infection that causes painful swellings under the ears and on the side of the face, often resulting in a “hamster face” appearance. Other symptoms of mumps may include headaches, joint pain, and a high temperature. While there is no cure for mumps, the infection usually resolves within two weeks.
Measles, on the other hand, is a highly contagious viral infection that has seen a resurgence in recent years and has been identified as an imminent threat by the World Health Organization. Symptoms of measles include a high temperature, a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, a cough, red and sore eyes, spots in the mouth, and a rash. It is crucial for individuals experiencing any of these symptoms to seek medical advice promptly.
In conclusion, the UK has experienced a significant increase in cases of scarlet fever, mumps, and measles. It is crucial for individuals who suspect they may be infected with any of these illnesses to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
– UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)
– National Health Service (NHS)
– World Health Organization (WHO)