Primary schools across Britain are being hit by the contagious disease
Outbreaks have risen steeply – with 6,157 new cases since September
Researchers have linked rise to a ‘super-resistant and aggressive’ strain
Numbers of children being infected by the bug have hit a 50-year high
Disease was deadly in Victorian era but now treated with antibiotics
March and April are peak time for the disease which mainly infects children
Family doctors have been told to look out for scarlet fever as the once feared Victorian disease has made an alarming comeback.
Primary schools across Britain are being hit by the disease as the numbers of children being infected by the bug have hit a 50-year high.
Outbreaks of the highly contagious disease have risen steeply – with 6,157 new cases since September according to Public Health England.
The figures show that 17,586 cases were reported in England in 2015, the highest total since 1967.
This compares with only 1,678 in 2005.
Health officials are unclear as to why scarlet fever has suddenly returned and blame ‘long-term natural cycles’.
But researchers in America, where cases are also on the rise, have linked it to a super-resistant and aggressive strain of bacteria.
One school, St Michael’s Junior School in Bowthorpe, Norwich, was particularly hard hit with 12 children off sick earlier this month.
Helen Newell, the school’s head said of the outbreak: ‘I think parents are naturally going to be worried about it – it’s your child.
If you know there’s been an outbreak in Bowthorpe, they are going to be worried, but we are really trying to be hyper-vigilant, and if a child is looking unwell we are taking their temperature and looking out for them. With our deep clean, we are not leaving anything to chance.
Other schools are posting warnings on social media.