The medical community is concerned with the newest outbreak of Scarlet Fever. It basically disappeared over 50 years ago but in the UK and northeast Asia it’s taking off. Around the world there were over 20,000 cases mostly in children kindergarten age. In Hong Kong the disease increased tenfold since 2000 to 2016. Perhaps there it may hopefully diminish.
Scarlet fever is caused by a streptococcus A germ that can also cause strep throat and impetigo pneumonia and flesh eating disease. It causes a painful sore throat, fever, painful headaches, a bright red rash on the skin, swollen lymph nodes and a bright pink swollen tongue.
It seems the strains in these epidemics are weaker and not nearly as fatal but the medical community is on the lookout for this unexplained world outbreak. Strains in Hong Kong aren’t the same as those in the UK which makes these outbreaks all the more baffling.
The Lancet announced that they “turn to parents around the world to be alert to the symptoms of the disease. See a doctor immediately if you find you or your child has the symptoms.”
Meanwhile the US has been spared though it is a disease that doesn’t even need to be reported to the CDC the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If there were any serious numbers people would know but so far there aren’t any.
In Australia, the University of Queensland professors Mark Walker and Stephan Brouwer both wrote: “Heightened global surveillance for the dissemination of scarlet fever is warranted.”