THERE are several confirmed cases of scarlet fever at Great Sankey High School.

The Public Health England Health Protection Team have advised the school on hygiene measures and that cases should be treated with antibiotics.

In a letter sent to parents yesterday, Thursday the advice stated 'although scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, it should be treated with antibiotics to minimise the risk of complications and reduce the spread to others'.

If you or your child has an underlying condition which affects the immune system, you should contact your GP or hospital doctor.

Similarly, children who have had chickenpox recently are more likely to develop a more serious infection during an outbreak of scarlet fever.

The letter tells parents that they should 'remain vigilant for symptoms such as a persistent high fever, cellulitis and arthritis'.

A Warrington Borough Council spokesperson said: “It is not uncommon to see a rise in cases of scarlet fever at this time of year. Scarlet fever is highly contagious but not usually serious and is easily treatable with antibiotics to reduce the risk of complications and spread to others.

"It is important to take antibiotics, as instructed by your GP, to minimise the risk of complications.

“It’s important that parents are aware of the symptoms of scarlet fever and should call their GP or NHS 111 for further advice or assessment if they think their child might have it.

“To limit the spread of scarlet fever it is important to practice good hygiene by washing hands with warm water and soap, not sharing drinking glasses or utensils, and covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.”

Scarlet fever is a common childhood infection caused by group A streptococcus.

Increases in cases can be expected during late winter and spring of each year, reflecting its normal seasonal pattern.

It is spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing and contact with surfaces such as table tops, taps and door handles.

Early symptoms of scarlet fever include sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. After 12 to 48 hours a red pinhead rash develops, often appearing first on the chest and stomach, then quickly spreading to other parts of the body and giving the skin a sandpaper-like texture.

Cases often have flushed cheeks and may also have a ‘strawberry tongue’.

As the child improves peeling of the skin can occur.

Children and adults with scarlet fever should remain off school and work until they have completed the first 24 hours of appropriate antibiotics.