DoH allays fears on scarlet fever from Hong Kong

THE Department of Health (DoH) on Wednesday sought to allay fears stemming from the declaration of an outbreak of scarlet fever in Hong Kong.  “It is a childhood illness that is easily recognizable because of characteristic skin rash that easily leads to home or hospital confinement, thereby limiting its spread,” said Dr. Eric Tayag, head of the DOH-National Epidemiology Center.

But he said the disease remains to be a cause for concern because the scarlet fever was found to be a new one and appears to be resistant to antibiotics that were traditionally used to fight the illness.

As a precaution, Tayag advised “pediatricians to report any suspected cases so we can investigate if these are linked to the HK epidemic”.

Health officials in Hong Kong are now on the look out for scarlet fever, a bacterial infection that could spread through coughing and sneezing. It is characterized by a rash and sore throat.  At least 459 cases were recorded this year in Hong Kong, with two fatalities. Hong Kong declared an outbreak Tuesday.

Tayag maintained that at present, there is no report of suspected cases of scarlet fever in the
country. (DOH/PIA)

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