The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) reported Tuesday, at least two more cases of scarlet fever in the country.
According one of the CHP news releases, they are investigating a suspected case of scarlet fever complicated with septic shock involving a 15-month-old girl.
The timeline of her illness started Aug 22 when she presented with fever, chickenpox and sandpaper rash. She was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on August 29. As she developed tachycardia, she was today transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.
The infant is in serious condition.
A report from the news source, The Standard, says Centre for Health Protection controller Thomas Tsang Ho-fai said enhanced surveillance of the childhood disease, in place since June 24, will be extended until September 30.
The ongoing investigation reveals no travel history and asymptomatic home contacts.
In addition, in a second news release also dated Aug 30, the CHP is investigating a case of severe Group A Streptococcal infection involving a 63-year-old woman.
According to the release, the patient developed fever, chills and rigors, dizziness, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea on August 27 and was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on the same day. She was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit the next day due to shock with decreased blood pressure and increased heart beat. Antibiotic treatment was given.
The patient is currently in critical condition. The patient’s blood specimen grew Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A) in laboratory test.
Scarlet fever is one form of group A strep disease which can follow strep throat.
In addition to the symptoms of strep throat, a red rash appears on the sides of your chest and abdomen. It may spread to cover most of the body.
The rash appears as tiny, red pinpoints and has a rough texture like sandpaper. If you press the rash it loses color and turns white. You may also see dark red lines in the folds of skin.
In addition, you may get a bright strawberry-red tongue and a rosy face, while the area around the mouth remains pale. Skin on the tips of the fingers and toes often peel after you get better.
You may also have fever, nausea and vomiting in more severe cases.
You get scarlet fever the same way you get strep throat; through direct contact with throat mucus, nasal discharge and saliva from an infected person.
Scarlet fever is usually diagnosed by doing a throat culture or a rapid strep antigen test. Treatment, like with strep throat, is with antibiotics.