Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever is a very contagious illness. It spreads through inhaling tiny droplets containing group A streptococcal bacteria released when people cough or sneeze. The bacteria can also be transmitted by touching infected tissues or objects. The illness often starts with a sore throat and fever. The rash typically appears on the neck, chest and arms. In fewer than 10% of strep cases, the rash also appears on the belly, groin and underarms. The rash usually consists of red, bumpy areas. The rash may look brighter red in skin creases (pastia lines). The rash can sting when touched. The tongue may be swollen and red, and the tonsils and back of the throat may become swollen and covered with white pus (pastia).Check this out:

The doctor diagnoses scarlet fever by asking questions and doing a physical exam. The doctor can also test for strep throat by swabbing the throat and running a rapid strep test. This test gives a quick result and lets doctors know right away if antibiotics are needed.

Spotting Scarlet: Recognizing Early Signs of Scarlet Fever in Children

If a child has a strep throat, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. It is important to take all the medicine as prescribed. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Children’s Motrin) or ibuprofen can help control the fever and throat pain. Do not give aspirin to a child, because it can cause a serious illness called Reye syndrome.

After a course of antibiotics, most non-rash symptoms disappear quickly. The rash typically lasts for two to three days. To reduce the spread of bacteria, it is helpful to cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or sleeve, which will prevent the germs from hitting frequently handled surfaces like doorknobs and remote controls. A good hand-washing routine is also helpful.

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