Symptoms of ‘very infectious’ scarlet fever as Helen Flanagan’s kids catch illness

Coronation Street starHelen Flanagan has revealed thather three children are suffering from scarlet fever.

The 31 year old,who is mum to Matilda, six, Delilah, three, and son Charlie, 13 months, took to Instagram to reveal the news.

After sharing a picture of her daughter sleeping, Helen wrote: “All the kids have scarlet fever. Glad to know what it is after Delilah not been herself and the medicine to treat it x.”

But Helen isn’t the only parent whose children have caught the infection.

In fact, despite being commonly associated with the Victorian times, parents have been told to keep a lookout for symptoms followingan increase in cases in the North West.

So, here’s everything you need to know about the illness…

What are the symptoms?

The early signs of scarlet fever are typically flu-like symptoms, such as a high temperature, sore throat and swollen glands in the neck.

Around 12 to 48 hours later, individuals may begin to show signs of a rash on their chest and tummy that looks like small raised bumps.

Elsewhere, a white coating may appear on the tongue, and the person’s cheeks may turn red.

Though80% of scarlet fever cases appear in children under 10, the symptoms are the same for adults.

How does scarlet fever spread?

The bacterial illness is caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, which is found on the skin and throat.

According to the NHS, scarlet fever is “very infectious and can easily spread to other people” and can be caught by:

  • Breathing in bacteria
  • Touching the skin of someone with the infection
  • Sharing contaminated items, such as clothes or towels

Importantly, you can catch the infection more than once, though this is rare.

How do you treat scarlet fever?

Thanks to modern medicine, most cases of scarlet fever are mild and can be treated with antibiotics.

Given that it's contagious, children should not return to school and adults to work until at least 24 hours after starting their treatment.

Besides this, things such as drinking cold liquids and eating soft foods may help to reduce symptoms if you have a sore throat.

Does it cause any complications?

Complications from scarlet fever are uncommon, but there is a slight risk of the infection spreading to other parts of the body.

As a result, this could cause infections, such as:

  • Ear infections
  • Sinusitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Meningitis

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