Parents in the nation’s capital can add scarlet fever to the list of illnesses they have to worry about their kids coming down with. Officials have confirmed three cases of the disease at Terrell Elementary school in Washington, D.C., MyFoxDC.com reported.
The school district said it is not an outbreak, but as a precaution they sent a letter to parents about two weeks ago informing them of the three cases.
"I really didn't know what scarlet fever was," said parent Linda Riley.
Scarlet fever is a disease caused by the same bacterium that causes strep throat, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its Web Site. It often appears as a rash in children under the age of 18 who have strep, and it is very contagious.
“It's contagious just like the common cold is contagious," Dr. Lee Beers, a pediatrician at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C, said. "It tends to be a rash over most of your body— red or sandpaper feeling rash. You often have other symptoms as well as a fever, sore throat and sometimes a stomach ache and headache.”