Scarlet fever, or scarlatina, is contamination concerning an exceptional illness involving a distinctive pink-red rash. It mainly affects children. In the past, it was a serious childhood illness, but some antibiotics have made it much rarer & less threatening. However, occasional & significant outbreaks still occur. Children aged 5 to fifteen years have a higher threat of growing scarlet fever than other age groups. Around eighty percent of cases occur in children under ten years. Left untreated, it can on occasion result in severe complications.
Fast facts on scarlet fever
There are some main points about this fever.
It is much less common now than in the past, but outbreaks still occur.
The bacteria that reason strep throat is also responsible for scarlet fever.
It can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
The primary symptoms are a rash, a sore throat, & a fever.
Scarlet fever is caused by a toxin released by using the bacteria Streptococcus pyrogens (S. pyrogens), the same microorganism that causes strep throat.
A small percentage of patients with strep infections, along with strep throat or impetigo, increase scarlet fever.
In some other terms, scarlatina is often used interchangeably with scarlet fever, but scarlatina more commonly refers to a less acute shape.
Early treatment with antibiotics can prevent complications.
What is scarlet fever in children?
Scarlet fever is an infectious disease that causes a rash. It’s also known as scarlatina. It is caused by the same kind of bacteria that cause strep throat. It may also be caused by infected wounds or burns. The rash is made up of tiny red bumps that feel like sandpaper.
What are the symptoms of scarlet fever in a child?
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can start with:
- Sore throat
- Stomach pain
- Coated white tongue
- Strawberry-like color of the tongue
The rash starts about 1 to 2 days after the first symptoms. The red, sandpaper-like rash appears on the neck, forehead, cheeks, and chest. It may then spread to the arms and back. The rash usually starts to fade after 2 to 7 days. The skin in the areas of the rash may peel after the infection is over, especially on the hands, feet, and genitals.
The symptoms of scarlet fever can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Signs & Symptoms of Scarlet fever
- A red, sore throat, on occasion with white or yellowish patches
- A fever of 38.3 Celsius (101 Fahrenheit) or higher, often with chills.
- A rash appears half to two days after these first symptoms.
- Red blotches appear on the skin. Those develop into a fine pink-red rash that looks like sunburn. The skin feels rough when touched, like sandpaper.
- The rash spreads to the mouth, ears, elbows, neck, inner thighs & groin, chest, & other parts of the body.
If a tumbler is pressed on the pores & skin, the rash will turn white.
After approximately six days, the rash usually fades. In some cases, the rash may be the only symptom.
Other possible symptoms of Scarlet fever are:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Feeling unwell
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, & abdominal pain
- Broken blood vessels in the folds of the body, e.g., the armpits, groin, elbows, knees, & neck, known as Pastia’s lines
Swollen neck glands, or lymph nodes, which might be gentle to the touch.
- A white coating forms on the tongue that peels away, leaving a red & swollen “strawberry” tongue
The skin of the hands & feet will peel for up to six weeks after the rash has gone.
A throat swab may help determine which bacteria caused the contamination. Sometimes a blood test is also ordered.