Parents say scarlet fever has hit Preston families

Scarlet fever.

Scarlet fever.

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Parents in central Lancashire have spoken about their experiences of a scarlet fever outbreak in the area.

Health chiefs are warning people to be extra vigilant about the signs and symptoms of the illness in their children - after a recent spike in reported cases of the infection.

The illness - which is common in March and April - can be identified by a pink rash, sore throat, fever and headaches.

According to Public Health England, nearly 40 cases of the condition have been reported in the south west of the country since last week alone and weeks ago children in East Lancashire were warned about an outbreak at a local secondary school.

Rachael Harris from Preston said: “My little girl has had it twice in three months and was so poorly on both occasions.

“On the second time though she got tonsillitis, herpes virus and hand foot and mouth aswell which resulted in three visits to the children’s ward.”

The infection, which commonly affects young children, generally responds to a course of antibiotics and clears up within a week - but may lead to complications if left untreated.

These include rheumatic fever, damage to the kidneys, liver damage, blood poisoning and an infection of the bone.

Christine Blakey Clitheroe said she has recently had scarlet fever as an adult, and her wedding was affected.

She said: “Mine started with a sore throat and I felt unwell then a couple of days later a rash. It started on the Thursday and I felt ill the rash came Friday night just a slight rash at first.

“I was getting married on the Saturday and was ill all day and night, so Sunday morning I went to primary care who gave me the wrong antibiotics ended up very ill.”