3 Maryland Students Diagnosed With Scarlet Fever

Students are classmates

Friday, Jan 13, 2012  |  Updated 2:29 PM EDT
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3 Md. Students Diagnosed With Scarlet Fever

Baltimore Health officials said three elementary school students have been diagnosed with scarlet fever.

George Washington Elementary officials sent a letter to parents on Thursday telling them about symptoms and detailing measures the school is taking to prevent further spread.

School officials said all three students diagnosed with the illness are classmates.

The letter told parents that scarlet fever is caused by streptococcus bacteria and it's spread by person-to-person contact, such as coughing and sneezing. Typical signs are a fever and red rash on the neck and chest. The illness can be treated with antibiotics, but the letter warns that left untreated, complications such as rheumatic fever and kidney disease may develop.

Officials say they are disinfecting surfaces and handrails and thoroughly cleaning the school as a precaution.

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