Measles and a 450% rise in suspected scarlet fever cases in Lancashire - here's the areas affected

Be aware of the symptoms.
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Lancashire has seen an suspected outbreak of measles and scarlet fever.

According to the latest Government's Notification of Infectious Diseases (NOIDS) list, there has been one case of measles - registered in South Ribble - and 44 cases of scarlet fever, for the week ending February 11.

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The previous week saw three cases of measles, and eight cases of scarlet fever.

The NOIDS data is where registered medical practitioners have a statutory duty to notify of suspected cases of certain infectious diseases – they are not confirmed cases.

Where are the latest suspected cases of scarlet fever?

Burnley - 2

Chorley - 8

Fylde - 3

Hyndburn - 2

Lancaster - 11

Pendle - 2

Preston - 3

South Ribble - 5

West Lancs - 6

Wyre - 2

There were also five suspected cases of whooping cough in the county during the same period, and two cases of mumps.

The skin rash caused by measles.The skin rash caused by measles.
The skin rash caused by measles.

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The latest figures for the UKHSA say that in the four weeks since January 22, there have been 169 newly confirmed cases of measles, with the highest number of cases reported from the West Midlands. During this period all regions have had confirmed cases, with 14 per cent (23 of 169) in the North West.


A measles outbreak is sweeping the UK, with cases likely to keep spreading rapidly unless more people get vaccinated, the UK Health Security Agency has said. Symptoms include high fever, sore, red and watery eyes, coughing, sneezing and small white spots may appear inside the mouth.

Now thousands of North West school children, aged six to 11, who are yet to have one or both of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines, have started receiving invitations to book a catch up appointment. Uptake of the vaccine, which is usually given to children aged one and then a second vaccine at around three years and four months, has fallen below the World Health Organisation target of 95 per cent coverage with two doses of MMR vaccine by 5 years.

In the North West, 85.2 per cent of children have had both does of the vaccine by age five, but the figure is as lower than 80 per cent in some areas. Last September, more than 12,000 children started school unprotected.

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Scarlet fever

There is less publicity around the outbreak of scarlet fever, but the NOIDs report states there has been a "sharp increase" in cases and other group A streptococcus infections and that "increased awareness and vigilance amongst clinicians has led to a significant rise in scarlet fever notifications in recent weeks."

Scarlet feverScarlet fever
Scarlet fever

The first signs of scarlet fever can be flu-like symptoms, including a high temperature, a sore throat and swollen neck glands (a large lump on the side of your neck). A rash appears 12 to 48 hours later. It looks like small, raised bumps and starts on the chest and tummy, then spreads. The rash makes your skin feel rough, like sandpaper. A white coating also appears on the tongue. This peels, leaving the tongue red, swollen and covered in little bumps (called "strawberry tongue").

Scarlet fever can be treated with antibiotics and usually lasts for around one week.

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