Warning as cases of Victorian diseases hit 5-year high

PARENTS have been warned to be on the lookout for signs of Victorian diseases – as cases hit a five-year high.

Illnesses such as scarlet fever, tuberculosis, measles and mumps have all risen dramatically in one area.

Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria known as group A streptococcus


Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria known as group A streptococcusCredit: Getty – Contributor

Data from the NHS shows that in Yorkshire and the Humber, cases of such conditions are at the highest levels seen since 2017.

Some patients were found to have these bugs – even when they hadn’t initially been admitted for them.

Cases were up 23 per cent from those seen in 2020/21.

They had previously dipped during the coronavirus pandemic as people were unable to able to mix – and therefore other infections were unable to spread as easily.

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Prior to this, these illnesses had been rising year-on-year.

The figures, seen by LeedsLive show that there were 22,659 cases of gout diagnosed last year – up 26 per cent.

Key signs of gout include swelling around the joints and peeling, itchy and scaly skin around the area.

Cases of vitamin D deficiency were up 22 per cent with an increase also being seen in tuberculosis and cases of rickets.

But the area also recorded 55 cases of scarlet fever, an illness the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has urged Brits to be on the lookout for.

The UKHSA  issued a warning after 3,488 notifications of scarlet fever were reported between September 2021 and March 2022 in England.

The number is compared to an average of 8,605 for this same period in the previous five years.

Scarlet fever is usually a mild but highly infectious illness, prompting UKHSA to urge parents to be on the lookout for symptoms.

The NHS says the key scarlet fever signs are:

  1. High temperature
  2. Sore throat
  3. Swollen neck glands
  4. A rash
  5. White coating on the tongue
  6. Red cheeks

If signs of scarlet fever are suspected, it is important to contact your local GP or NHS 111.

Early treatment of scarlet fever with antibiotics is important as it helps reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia and the spread of the infection to others.

Dominic Mellon, Deputy Director of Health Protection at UKHSA South West said “It’s not uncommon to see a rise in cases of scarlet fever at this time of year and we are continuing to monitor rates of infection.”

However, the data also showed that cases of other bugs had become prevalent.

Medics detected 37 cases of curvy and 12 cases of typhoid fever.

People with typhoid fever will often display signs such as stomach pain, headache, cough and loss of appetite.

Alongside this, a further 16 cases of mumps were detected, five of whooping cough and two cases of measles.

Many of these illnesses can be prevented by vaccines.

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But during the pandemic, many children missed out on theirs due to hesitancy and lockdowns.

Babies have their first vaccines at eight weeks old with top up doses at 12 and 16 weeks.

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