Scarlet Fever Kills Two Children in Hong Kong

Jun 21, 2011 | healthmap | Outbreak News

A new strain of Scarlet Fever is spreading through Hong Kong. In the past three weeks, two children, a 15-year-old boy and a 7-year-old-girl, became the city’s first fatal victims in the last 10 years. Since January, 419 cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong with 142 cases in the first weeks of June. Scarlet Fever is caused by the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria and mostly affects children ages 2-8. The disease causes a fever, sore throat and a rash on the neck, face and tongue, and eventually spreads across the entire body.  Scarlet Fever is typically treated with antibiotics that are very effective, but this new strain is actually a mutation of the Streptococcus bacteria and is resistant to several antibiotics. A physician from the Hong Kong Medical Association encourage doctors who are treating children infected with the disease to try alternative antibiotics before the disease spreads even more.

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