News24

Scarlet fever suspected in child's death

2011-06-22 17:31

Hong Kong - Hong Kong authorities say they are investigating the death of a 5-year-old boy who is suspected of being the second person to succumb in the city to a mutated form of scarlet fever.

Medical authorities say the boy was taken to hospital with a fever and died on Tuesday.

In May, a 7-year-old girl became the first person to die of scarlet fever in Hong Kong in at least 10 years.

Researchers at Hong Kong University say she had a genetically mutated strain that is much more resistant to antibiotics.

Hong Kong has had 466 reported cases of scarlet fever so far this year, about double the annual total.

Scarlet fever is a streptococcal disease characterised by a skin rash.