Increase in scarlet fever, chickenpox and hepatitis

Parents and carers are being encouraged to be aware of the symptoms of scarlet fever, chickenpox and hepatitis following a rise in cases across the country.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said levels of scarlet fever and chickenpox are in line with what they would expect to see at this time of year, but there has been an increase compared to 2021 when cases were lower due to safety measures imposed during the pandemic.

Hepatitis is a condition which affects the liver and may occur for a number of reasons, including several viral infections common in children. The UKHSA is working with the NHS and public health colleagues to investigate approximately 60 cases in children under 10, where common viruses which cause hepatitis have not been detected.

The first signs of scarlet fever can be flu-like symptoms, including a high temperature, a sore throat and swollen neck glands. This is followed by a rash 12 to 48 hours later.
If you think your child is showing signs of scarlet fever, contact your GP or NHS 111. Stay away from nursery, school or work for 24 hours after taking the first dose of antibiotics.

An itchy, spotty rash is the main symptom of chickenpox. Other symptoms include a high temperature, aches and pains, and generally feeling unwell. Stay away from work, nursery or school until all spots have formed scabs.

Hepatitis symptoms include dark urine; itchy skin; pale, grey-coloured poo; yellowing of the eyes and skin; muscle and joint pain; a high temperature; loss of appetite and feeling tired all the time.
See your GP if you have any persistent or troublesome symptoms you think could be caused by hepatitis. For more details about these conditions, visit the NHS website at


Increase in scarlet fever, chickenpox and hepatitis