Illness associated with the Victorian era now infects hundreds of children a week, with no apparent reason for its return
Thousands of children are being infected with scarlet fever as the once feared Victorian disease, a leading cause of infant deaths in the early 20th century, makes a startling comeback.
Cases of scarlet fever have reached a 50-year high, with more than 17,000 cases confirmed last year – the highest since the 1960s. There have been more than 6,100 cases since September last year, and the peak season is from now until the middle of April. Around 600 cases are currently being recorded each week. Family doctors across the country are now being told to keep watch for scarlet fever by Public Health England, and parents are being told how to spot the symptoms.
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