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Parents at Swalecliffe Community Primary, Whitstable, warned of scarlet fever outbreak by Public Health England

Parents at a Whitstable school have been warned of an outbreak of suspected scarlet fever.

Public Health England has written to parents and staff at Swalecliffe Community Primary School, in Bridgefield Road, after it was informed a number of children at the school had been diagnosed with suspected chickenpox or scarlet fever.

The school confirmed it had two suspected cases of scarlet fever and one of chicken pox.

Scarlet fever on a child. Picture Alicia Williams
Scarlet fever on a child. Picture Alicia Williams

Chickenpox is a mild and common childhood illness that most children catch at some point and causes a rash of red, itchy spots.

Scarlet fever, meanwhile, is another childhood illness but unlike chickenpox requires antibiotic treatment and symptoms include a sore throat and fever followed by a fine red rash.

Public Health England has said if a child has an underlying condition which affects their immune system, parents should contact their GP or a hospital.

In its warning to parents and staff, Public Health England detailed possible complications.

It says: "Children who have had chickenpox recently are more likely to develop more serious infection during an outbreak of scarlet fever, so parents should remain vigilant for symptoms such as a persistent high fever, cellulitis (skin infection) and arthritis.

“If you are concerned for any reason please seek medical help immediately.”

For more information on the illnesses go to www.nhs.uk or call the health protection team on 0344 225 7968.

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