Prague sees up to four times more cases of scarlet fever and scarlet angina this year

According to the Prague Hygiene Station, there is currently up to four times the usual number of children with scarlet fever in the city, with 141 cases recorded by hygienists between January and March and an increased incidence of scarlet angina. The most affected group is children under nine years of age.

“Compared to the last quarter of last year, the number of sick people has increased more than five times, and compared to the first quarter of 2019, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase is three to four times,” said hygienists, who recommend increased cleaning and disinfection of surfaces in areas where scarlet fever is present. Children with symptoms of the disease should not attend kindergartens and schools.

Scarlet fever is an infectious disease caused by streptococci. It occurs mainly in children and, in addition to sore throat, is also characterized by a rash, exhaustion, and other symptoms. Significant general symptoms and the typical scarlet rash on the abdomen, chest, and inner sides of the limbs accompany scarlet angina.

Change after the “COVID years” In addition to scarlet fever and angina this season, Prague hygienists have generally registered an increase in all respiratory illnesses in children. The hygiene station recalled that the current season of respiratory illnesses had an early onset, and the epidemic reached high numbers of sick people even before Christmas. However, the peak is usually in the 4th or 5th week of the new year.

“The change was caused by the previous ‘COVID years,’ when anti-epidemic measures eliminated not only the transmission of COVID-19 but also other respiratory infections,” concluded hygienists.