Scarlet fever not a concern

There have been a few diagnosed cases of scarlet fever in the Tri-port area

There have been a few diagnosed cases of scarlet fever in the Tri-port area, but it’s nothing to get too excited about, said the North Island’s top doc.

“I do know earlier (last) month we received a couple of indications there may be scarlet fever in the community,” said  Dr. Paul Hasselback, medical health officer for the North Island.

“There are physician diagnosed cases of scarlet fever that have occurred in the community and the number that was shared with me was not many, five to 10 … it’s not  too concerning from what my staff are seeing.”

The Gazette received several calls from concerned parents and other family members who believed the disease was epidemic, but “that’s simply not the case,” said Hasselback.

“There are people who believe it’s going on and the perception is a legitimate concern,” he said, from his Nanaimo office.

“There’s more anxiety from people who haven’t had this disease.”

Scarlet fever is typically associated with children, but doctors don’t see it as often as in the past because of antibiotics and good hygiene, said Hasselback.

Indeed,  while scarlet fever is contagious, it doesn’t spread very well. “It’s not like every student can come down with this,” said Hasselback.

And for these who get exposed, not many of them will actually get sick.

The challenge, said the doctor, is everyone who comes down with a rash does not seek out medical attention.

“This is not a disease that is reportable,” he said.

“If a student is off school or away they need not tell the school why they’re ill, they need not tell us.”

Another problem is there are lots of myths and misinformation about scarlet fever.

“Many, many decades ago, it used to be associated with all sorts of problems,” said Hasselback.

“There are 100 or  so different types of strep and only a few cause a rash and occasionally  when strep goes untreated it can cause other problems as well — kidney and heart specifically — but we rarely see that sort of problem anymore.”

Scarlet fever has been called strep throat, but  with a rash.

“That’s a very simplified way of putting it, but not far off the mark,” said Hasselback.

“Not all strep is the same and most of the strep throat we see don’t result in the rash that goes with scarlet fever.”

The best protection against any respiratory illnesses is good solid hygiene, said Hasselback .

“So when you cough, you cough into (the crook) of your elbow and you wash your hands frequently whether you’re sick or not.”

XXXXXXXXXX

What is it?

Scarlet fever is a term used for strep throat with a rash and is most common in children ages two to 10, but it can affect people of any age.

Scarlet fever is caused by streptococcal (strep) bacteria, the same bacteria that cause strep throat. There are many different strains of strep bacteria, some of which cause more serious illness than others.

The most noticeable symptom of scarlet fever is a rough, red rash that feels like fine sandpaper. Other symptoms are the same as strep throat — except for the rash — and include:

• Fever of 38.5°C —101°F — or higher.

• Sore throat and difficulty swallowing.

• White or yellow spots or coating on the throat and tonsils.

• Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

Other symptoms that appear before the rash, especially in children, may include general body aches, headache, stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, or listlessness.

—HealthLinkBC

 

 

 

Just Posted

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Dr. Prean Armogam hands over a cheque for $10,000 to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society president Rosaline Glynn. The money will be going towards a new roof for the Port Hardy seniors centre. This is the second donation Dr. Armogam has made to the society, giving them $5,000 a little over a year ago. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Doctor donates $10k to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society for new roof

This was the second donation Armogam has given to the society

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Blueprints for the seniors housing project in Port Hardy. (North Island Seniors Housing Foundation photo)
BC Housing declines North Island Seniors Housing Foundation’s proposal to build units

BC Housing will be explaining why exactly the project was declined at a June 18 meeting

An aerial view of the marine oil-spill near Bligh Island in Nootka sound that the Canadian Coast Guard posted in a live social media feed in December. ( Canadian Coast Guard/Facebook)
Oil from vessel that sank in 1968 off Vancouver Island to be removed

DFO hires Florida firm to carefully remove oil from MV Schiedyk in Nootka Sound starting in mid-June

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read