A Dundee Scotland primary school has been hit by an outbreak of scarlet fever. One parent of children at Downfield Primary School claimed that at least 20 pupils have fallen ill in recent days. The city council education department today declined to disclose the number infected, but confirmed advice had been sent to parents.
Scarlet fever is named for the distinctive rash it causes. It is usually a mild illness, but in rare cases it can have serious complications.
The parent told The Courier he was "concerned and angry" at what he claimed was a lack of swift communication from the school. He said the 1st child to be affected attends the school's nursery. A parent went on Facebook last week [week of 24 Feb 2014] to warn others, but the school itself did not send out a note to parents until Monday [3 Mar 2014]. "We are now are at a point where at least 20 children are off suffering from either scarlet fever or strains of it. These are only the cases I am aware of," the man said. A council spokesman said: "The school followed advice from the NHS Tayside school nursing service about the issuing of information. Parents and families have been given guidance about contacting a health professional if they think their child has scarlet fever. The primary's communication also stresses that any pupil with the condition should not attend school for five days after they take their first medication."
There are 3 reports of outbreaks of scarlet fever in the UK in the past several weeks: one in the South West Region of England a 2nd in Lincolnshire and a 3rd in Cumbria It is unknown if the outbreaks are related.