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Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever is an infection caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. This disease gets its name from the characteristic scarlet rash that is noticed on affected kids and adults. Usually children in the age group of 5 - 15 years are affected by scarlet fever. A child suffering from scarlet fever usually has symptoms of strep throat too. The rash appears as tiny bumps all over the body. It manifests as reddish streaks and itches. This rash lasts for about a week and is accompanied by high fever and swollen glands in the neck. The tongue of the affected patient develops a whitish coating. Later it gets reddened and swollen (strawberry tongue). There is nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. The cheeks are flushed and the rash leaves peeling skin. The rash is coarse to feel. Often scarlet fever is mistaken for red measles. Scarlet fever is contagious and passes through sneezing and coughing. If left untreated, scarlet fever results in kidney or heart disease. It can also result in rheumatic disease. Complications with scarlet fever are middle ear infection and pneumonia.


Diagnosis of scarlet fever is done with a throat culture. A person suffering from scarlet fever tests positive for Group A Strep. A physical examination of the child is also conducted. A child with scarlet fever may not feel like eating much due to the severe strep throat. Ensure a diet with plenty of fluids and soft foods. Warm nutritious soups and milkshakes can help. Scarlet fever is usually treated with antibiotics and is resolved within about 10 days.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: September 23, 2019