The usual treatment is with antibiotic tablets (or liquid for young children) to help reduce the length of time the infection is contagious, speed up recovery and reduce the risk of any further problems.
HUNDREDS of schools across the county have been put on a high alert after the number of scarlet fever cases more than doubled in Hampshire.
The rash usually first appears on the chest and stomach before spreading to other parts of the body.
Scarlet fever is highly contagious and children aged two to eight are most at risk. The infection needs prompt treatment with antibiotics owing to the potential for complications and more severe illness caused by its group A strep bacteria. Symptoms of scarlet fever usually clear up in a week and most cases are uncomplicated as long as children finish the course of antibiotics.
The disease was a common cause of death in the Victorian era, but had largely been in decline since the introduction of antibiotics.
It is not uncommon in the winter and spring, but in recent years there has been a noticeable increase in cases.
Public Health England South East (PHESE) confirmed that in January and February alone this year there were 470 incidents reported of the condition, which mainly affects children aged between five and 15.
Now health chiefs have contacted schools warning them to look out for scarlet fever cases.
The bacterial disease is highly contagious and most common in children under 10 years old.
In 2016, there were 19,206 reported cases, the highest level since 1967.
Finally, a white coating may form on the tongue which peels away after a few days, leaving it red and swollen.