Scarlet fever: Three tell-tale signs you’ve caught the infection – including a red cheek

Posted on Jan 26 2018 - 5:16pm by admin

Scarlet fever cases have been on the rise across England

Public Health England figures revealed yesterday that since the beginning of the year, 1,347 cases of Scarlet fever have been reported; 568 more than the same period last year. 

In November 2017, Public Health England (PHE) said the recent upsurge in cases was greater than any documented in the last century.

Scarlet fever isn’t usually serious and can be treated with antibiotics. 

But what are the symptoms to look out for?

According to the NHS, once you’ve had scarlet fever, you’re unlikely to get it again. And there are three tell-tale signs you have the infection.


  • Usually starts on the chest or tummy, before spreading to other areas 
  • Is made up of pink-red blotches that may join up 
  • Feels like sandpaper (this may be the most obvious sign in someone with dark skin) 
  • May be brighter red in body folds, such as the armpits or elbows
  • Turns white if you press a glass on it 

Red face

  • The rash doesn’t usually spread to the face, but the cheeks may turn very red
  • This may look a bit like sunburn
  • The area around the mouth usually stays pale

White or red tongue 

  • Sometimes a white coating may form on the tongue
  • This peels away after a few days, leaving the tongue red and swollen

Are Victorian diseases coming back?

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