Scarlet fever identified at Baltimore elementary school

At least one student at George Washington Elementary in southwest Baltimore has been diagnosed with scarlet fever, according to the city health department.

A letter was sent home to parents Thursday detailing the illness' symptoms.

Scarlet fever is a common infection caused by streptococcus bacteria and spread by person-to-person contact, coughing and sneezing, according to the letter.

The illness can be treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, complications such as rheumatic fever and kidney disease may ensue, the letter says.

A fever and red rash on the neck and chest are typical signs of scarlet fever.

The school is near the intersection of Scott and W. Hamburg streets in the Washington Village/Pigtown neighborhood.

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