Scarlet Fever hits Singapore as record cases are reported

Singapore media is reporting that a new outbreak of Scarlet Fever has become a cause for concern after a child has died as a result of contracting the disease. The Hong Kong Ministry of Health are said to be monitoring the occurrence closely. 40 Cases have been reported in the past two days which adds to the 419 already noted this year, pushing the total cases so far to over three times last year’s total and setting a new high for the city.

Skin rash as a result of scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is caused by bacterial infection and has certain telltale symptoms which include a sore throat, skin rashes, a fever and the most obvious and well known ‘Strawberry’ tongue. It can be transmitted by direct contact with a sufferer or by moisture from breathing and sneezing.

Strawberry tongue is not exclusive to scarlet fever

The Hong Kong Ministry of Health is advising people to take extra precautions to avoid contracting scarlet fever by washing their hands regularly, cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing and most of all to avoid crowded places where possible.
They have also warned tourists about the outbreak and urged them to follow the same advice as residents.

Strawberry tongue can also occur as a result of Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome but in all cases professional advice should be sought immediately. Vitamin B12 deficiencies can also lead to a similar appearance around the tongue and lips.

'Rely' tampons were at the heart of a Toxic Shock Syndrome epidemic in 1978-1980

Kawasaki Disease is normally more prominent in children under the age of five and is an autoimmune disorder. Toxic Shock Syndrome is potentially fatal and is caused by bacterial toxins. It became prominent in 1978 when ‘Rely’, a tampon brand made by Proctor and Gamble in response to demand from women for a sanitary towel or tampon which could contain an entire menstrual flow without leaking or need of replacing was found to develop TSS in women using their brand.

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Read about Jett Travolta who died after a siezure which was linked to Kawasaki Disease.

images: gpnotebook.co.uk; bmj.com, ookaboo.com, pronurse.co.uk