Scarlet fever is a bacterial illness that causes a distinctive pink-red rash. It is uncommon in the UK nowadays and is usually mild.
The characteristic symptom of scarlet fever is a widespread, fine pink-red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch. It may start in one area, but soon spreads to many parts of the body, such as the ears, neck and chest. The rash may be itchy.
Other symptoms include a high temperature, a flushed face and a red, swollen tongue.
Symptoms of scarlet fever usually develop two to five days after infection, although you will be contagious before showing signs of the illness.
When to seek medical advice?
See your GP as soon as possible if you suspect you or your child has scarlet fever.