Virginia kindergarten student diagnosed with scarlet fever

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. – A Dinwiddie County, Virginia, student has been diagnosed with scarlet fever, a bacterial illness involving a distinctive pink-red rash, according to CBS 6.

School officials say they learned about the case on Thursday and a letter from the health department was send home to the parents of more than 50 students who are in the same class or ride the same bus as the diagnosed student.

The student has been identified as a kindergarten student at Southside Elementary School, according to School spokesperson Christie Clarke.

Clarke says the child’s case first started as strep throat.

School officials say no other students are diagnosed at this time.

“Scarlet fever refers to the rash and accompanying symptoms caused by the group A Streptococcus or group A strep bacteria. This is the same bacteria that causes strep throat,” the letter read.

“Group A strep live in the nose and throat and can easily spread to other people by coughing or sneezing, which creates small respiratory droplets that contain the bacteria.”

Scarlet fever is most common in children five to 15 years of age. The illness usually begins with a fever and sore throat. There may also be chills, vomiting, or abdominal pain, according to the health department.

One or two days after the illness begins, a red rash usually appears.

Health officials are advising parents to evaluate their child immediately for any signs of the infection. If an infection is suspected, they are asked to contact their child's physician for diagnosis and treatment.

Anyone with questions or concerns are asked to contact the Dinwiddie Health Department at 804-469-3771 or their child's physician.

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