The county council has urged parents to look out for scarlet fever symptoms.

With nine suspected cases in Worcestershire last week and three confirmed at a primary school today, the council has moved to reassure parents.

Interim director of public health, Liz Altay, has advised parents to keep an eye on their children’s health and issued a reminder of what to look out for.

She said: “We know that it is really worrying for parents with so many stories in the media at the moment but most Strep A infections are mild.

“It’s really important for parents to closely monitor their children’s health. The first signs of scarlet fever can be flu-like symptoms, including a high temperature, a sore throat and swollen neck glands (a large lump on the side of your neck).

“A rash appears 12 to 48 hours later. It looks like small, raised bumps and starts on the chest and tummy, then spreads. The rash makes your skin feel rough, like sandpaper.”

READ MORE: Scarlet fever cases confirmed at primary school near Worcester

Data released by the UK Health Security Agency shows that in the week ending December 4, there were eight suspected cases of scarlet fever in Worcestershire.

Scarlet fever is caused by the bacteria group A streptococci which can, in very rare occasions, get into the bloodstream and cause invasive Group A Strep.

Today, December 7, the head at Martley Primary School, Lucy Cox, confirmed there were three cases of scarlet fever at the school last week.

Mrs Altay has said that any parent who suspects their child may have the infection should contact the NHS or their GP.

“If you think your child has scarlet fever or seems seriously unwell, please contact NHS 111 or your GP,” she said.

“You should call 999 or go to A&E if your child is having difficulty breathing or is not responsive.”

READ MORE: Every suspected scarlet fever case in Worcestershire

On what to do to prevent your child from catching scarlet fever and other illnesses, Mrs Altay added: “To help keep children well this winter, stick to good hygiene such as regular handwashing and using a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

“Parents can also download the Handi App which has expert information on how best to manage the six most common childhood illnesses, diarrhoea, vomiting, high temperatures, chestiness, new-born problems, and stomach pain.”