Scarlet fever no big deal, VIHA says after worries posted on web

NANAIMO — Reports of several cases of scarlet fever in Nanaimo should not alarm parents, says the Vancouver Island Heath Authority.

A Nanaimo mother posted a note that she had heard a few children had been diagnosed with scarlet fever, prompting concern from other parents.

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Scarlet fever is a term used for strep throat followed by a rash. Symptoms include a fever of 38.5°C or higher, sore throat and difficulty swallowing, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

The infection is rare in Canada and is treated with antibiotics.

Dr. Paul Hasselback, VIHA’s central island medical health officer, said the illness is no worse than any other type of strep and doesn’t transfer easily.

“These days, we have bugs circulating in the community all the time and this is just one more on the list out there,” he said. — Nanaimo Daily News

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