Britain is in the grips of a scarlet fever outbreak as hundreds of cases of the disease have been recorded across England and Wales in recent weeks.

The infectious disease, which was most prominent in the Victorian era, is largely a childhood affliction seen in those aged between two and eight. 

The historically dangerous fever is far less serious in the modern day as the disease, characterised by a bright red rash and a sore throat, can be treated with antibiotics. 

Despite this, hundreds of cases of the infectious disease have been reported across England and Wales in recent weeks, the Mirror reported. 

Some 450 cases of scarlet fever were recorded in England and 30 in Wales last week, according to health officials

Some 480 cases of scarlet fever were recorded in the week ending December 1, according to health officials.

The highest number of recent cases were seen across the North West, with 105, Yorkshire and the Humber, with 53, and the East Midlands, where 59 cases were recorded.

Across London, 54 cases of scarlet fever have been recently diagnosed, with another 36 in outer London, according to health officials. 

Last week, between 18 November and 24 November, some 419 cases were recorded nationwide.

This compares to 281 cases across England and Wales which were seen in the week ending November 3. 

It isn’t unusual to see a spike in the number of recorded cases at this time of year as scarlet fever is seasonal, a Public Health England spokesman said.

Since 2014, the number of cases has risen significantly with between 15,000 and 30,000 diagnosed across England each year, Public Health England said. 

Health officials also previously recorded a significant rise from 2013, when 4,366 cases of scarlet fever were seen, to 17,829 three years later.

The historically dangerous scarlet fever is far less serious in the modern day as the disease, characterised by a bright red rash and a sore throat, can be treated by antibiotics

Those will scarlet fever often develop a white coating on the tongue which peels away a few days later

Almost all cases of scarlet fever occur in those under 10, and the disease can be treated with a 10-day course of antibiotics.

Scarlet fever is a highly contagious affliction which is spread by close contact with someone already carrying the bacteria. It can then take up to five days to develop symptoms after exposure.

These symptoms include a high temperature, usually of 38C or above, a sore throat and swollen neck glands. A bright red rash typically develops a few days later. 

Last April, the British Medical Journal noted the rates of scarlet fever in England had reached the highest point for 50 years.

Britain is in grips of scarlet fever: outbreak with 480 children infected last week

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