The return of scarlet fever . . . and other storiesBMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1487 (Published 12 April 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1487
After decades of falling incidence, scarlet fever is on the rise. Current rates in England are the highest for 50 years and all parts of the country are affected. Outbreaks are common in nurseries and schools and the median age of cases is four years (Lancet Infect Dis doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30693-X). Analysis of Streptococcus pyogenes isolates shows a diversity of emm types, so the increase in incidence can’t be explained by the emergence of a new virulent strain with enhanced capacity to cause scarlet fever.
It’s usually thought that the health of migrants is poor in comparison with the health of people in the host country. A study from Scotland which linked census information to mortality data challenges this …