Parents warned to be on alert as more pupils are expected to fall ill

Scarlet fever alert at Hampshire school

Scarlet fever alert at Hampshire school

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter

CHILDREN at a Southampton school have fallen victim to an outbreak of highly contagious scarlet fever.

Three cases have been reported at Kanes Hill Primary School, but health bosses expect to see more develop in the coming days.

The disease, caused by infectious bacteria, leaves sufferers with high temperatures, sickness, sore throat, a sandpaper-like rash on the chest or stomach which quickly spreads to other parts of the body, as well as causing a white coating on the tongue.

The bugs that spark the illness can be passed rapidly between people through sneezing, coughing or even just breathing, as well as through sharing drinking glasses, plates or utensils.

Although antibiotics can treat the condition, it takes up to five days after being infected for symptoms to develop, leading to fears more cases could yet to be reported.

Health bosses warn anyone with scarlet fever, which is most common in children aged between two and eight years old, to stay away from work or school to avoid spreading the infection.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said it had yesterday been told of the three confirmed cases at Kanes Hill Primary, on Hinkler Road, because the infection is a reportable disease.

No one from the school was yesterday available to comment, but a spokeswoman for the HPA said letters will have been sent to parents to warn them of the outbreak and give advice on how best to avoid the illness being spread further.

She said: “The HPA was notified of three cases, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see more. Once you have seen one or two cases it’s quite likely you will see more.

“It’s quite infectious, especially in children and especially in schools, because it spreads quite quickly and they’re in an enclosed space.”

Although scarlet fever used to have serious consequences, and would previously have seen sufferers sent to an isolation hospital, modern use of antibiotics mean it is now much less likely to be so acute.

The HPA spokeswoman added: “Like any illness it can turn into something else, but these days it’s much less common.

“It is far less dangerous than it used to be.”

Anyone who suspects they or their child has scarlet fever, which typically affects between 2,000 and 4,000 people in England each year, is advised to contact their GP immediately.

Comments (10)

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1:12pm Fri 7 Dec 12

A-concerned-Mum says...

I can tell you now it's more than three confirmed cases as my girls were confirmed today. Apparently, one class was left with 2 kids after illness swept through!
I can tell you now it's more than three confirmed cases as my girls were confirmed today. Apparently, one class was left with 2 kids after illness swept through! A-concerned-Mum
  • Score: 0

6:41pm Fri 7 Dec 12

lauraweston23 says...

im not happy my daughter goes to hightown primary school and we only got a letter sent home today we should of all got told straight away as the headteacher is also the headteacher of kanes hill primary school
im not happy my daughter goes to hightown primary school and we only got a letter sent home today we should of all got told straight away as the headteacher is also the headteacher of kanes hill primary school lauraweston23
  • Score: 0

6:41pm Fri 7 Dec 12

lauraweston23 says...

im not happy my daughter goes to hightown primary school and we only got a letter sent home today we should of all got told straight away as the headteacher is also the headteacher of kanes hill primary school
im not happy my daughter goes to hightown primary school and we only got a letter sent home today we should of all got told straight away as the headteacher is also the headteacher of kanes hill primary school lauraweston23
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Fri 7 Dec 12

Mystery woman says...

Ur not happy Laura trying having a daughter at Kane's hill who's been ill and had to find out throught the echo that the illness was going thru school I've heard nothing is disgusting
Ur not happy Laura trying having a daughter at Kane's hill who's been ill and had to find out throught the echo that the illness was going thru school I've heard nothing is disgusting Mystery woman
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Fri 7 Dec 12

Mystery woman says...

A-concerned-Mum wrote:
I can tell you now it's more than three confirmed cases as my girls were confirmed today. Apparently, one class was left with 2 kids after illness swept through!
Do u know which years been hit worst school won't tell anything
[quote][p][bold]A-concerned-Mum[/bold] wrote: I can tell you now it's more than three confirmed cases as my girls were confirmed today. Apparently, one class was left with 2 kids after illness swept through![/p][/quote]Do u know which years been hit worst school won't tell anything Mystery woman
  • Score: 0

7:25pm Fri 7 Dec 12

A-concerned-Mum says...

My girls are in year 2 and year 6 - year 2 seems to have been hit hardest. The school sent an email out yesterday but no letter as far as I know. There are now four other confirmed cases apparently.
My girls are in year 2 and year 6 - year 2 seems to have been hit hardest. The school sent an email out yesterday but no letter as far as I know. There are now four other confirmed cases apparently. A-concerned-Mum
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Fri 7 Dec 12

Mystery woman says...

Thanks for letting me know hope ur girls get better soon
Thanks for letting me know hope ur girls get better soon Mystery woman
  • Score: 0

8:39pm Fri 7 Dec 12

madbikerbob says...

We have a young child at the school, funny how the school only send out a letter the same day as the Echo gets in touch with them? I get the feeling they wouldn't of said a word if it was'nt for the Echo getting involved as this has been going on over a week. Very irresponsible of the Head but maybe she should consider she may be stretching herself to far??? we should be thinking of the other children and pregnant women etc and stop trying to hide things under the carpet. Our child is home ill we just hope it not this and just a normal bug. Get well soon all the kids who are ill!!!!.
We have a young child at the school, funny how the school only send out a letter the same day as the Echo gets in touch with them? I get the feeling they wouldn't of said a word if it was'nt for the Echo getting involved as this has been going on over a week. Very irresponsible of the Head but maybe she should consider she may be stretching herself to far??? we should be thinking of the other children and pregnant women etc and stop trying to hide things under the carpet. Our child is home ill we just hope it not this and just a normal bug. Get well soon all the kids who are ill!!!!. madbikerbob
  • Score: 0

10:37pm Fri 7 Dec 12

A-concerned-Mum says...

Madbikerbob - if your little one is poorly do get him or her checked by a doctor as if it is SF the little one will need antibiotics. My girls temps went through the roof, really sore throat, coughing, bunged up. I thought they had a cold - I assumed their flushed red cheeks were part and parcel :-/ glad I trusted my instinct and took them to the GP.
Shouldn't something be done though? A cleanse of the school perhaps? If its that contagious (as like norovirus) then should measures be put in place?
Hope all fellow KH pupils & parents who are poorly do get well soon :-)
Madbikerbob - if your little one is poorly do get him or her checked by a doctor as if it is SF the little one will need antibiotics. My girls temps went through the roof, really sore throat, coughing, bunged up. I thought they had a cold - I assumed their flushed red cheeks were part and parcel :-/ glad I trusted my instinct and took them to the GP. Shouldn't something be done though? A cleanse of the school perhaps? If its that contagious (as like norovirus) then should measures be put in place? Hope all fellow KH pupils & parents who are poorly do get well soon :-) A-concerned-Mum
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Mon 10 Dec 12

flirtontour says...

My daughter is in year 2 at kanes hill.. I have made the decision to now keep her off until after xmas.. I don't care if it isn't as dangerous as it used to be. I don't want to send her knowing there is a chance she will catch it full stop! The way the school has handled or rather not handled this is disgusting! :( Hope anyone who is ill is better soon and enjoys there xmas xxx
My daughter is in year 2 at kanes hill.. I have made the decision to now keep her off until after xmas.. I don't care if it isn't as dangerous as it used to be. I don't want to send her knowing there is a chance she will catch it full stop! The way the school has handled or rather not handled this is disgusting! :( Hope anyone who is ill is better soon and enjoys there xmas xxx flirtontour
  • Score: 0

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