Scarlet fever: symptoms, causes and treatment

The scarlet fever It is a very serious illness of childhood, which is also medically known by the name of scarlet fever or scarlet fever. Despite being serious, it is now easily curable; In fact, although it tends to be considered a disease of the past, the reality is that even today new cases continue to appear.

However, it is true that scarlet fever tends to cause life-threatening infections less frequently, such as septicemia, necrotic phaseitis (destruction of fat and muscle), or streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

It is characterized as an illness caused by an infection with the group A streptococcal bacteria (the same bacteria that causes strep throat), or Streptococcus group A, a bacterium commonly found in the skin and throat. That is to say, It is a bacterial infection q

Symptoms of scarlet fever

They usually take 1 to 2 days between the time of infection and the appearance of their symptoms.

Classically, it is a disease that starts with a fever and a sore throat. According to the reddish rash feature and distinctive of the disease usually appears first in the neck and thorax, then spread through the rest of the body, which can last about a week and as it disappears may present peeling skin.

It is a red rash with a texture that is very reminiscent of the one that has the common sandpaper. In addition, in the folds of the armpits, the elbows and the groin a change of the skin to intense red color is observed, while the tongue becomes reddened, swollen and with a whitish coating, producing what is medically known asaframbased tongue, for its red appearance and with small lumps.

Other related symptoms can also be described:

  • Shaking chills.
  • General malaise and indisposition.
  • Headache, throat and muscle pain.
  • Swelling of the tongue and redness.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Vomiting

On the other hand, it is also very common to have a very red and sore throat, high fever (higher than 38.3 ° C), and that the lymph nodes become inflamed.

Causes of scarlet fever, how does it contract?

As indicated above, The cause of scarlet fever is infection with Group A Streptococcus bacteria. These bacteria can live in both the throat and the nose, and spread from contact with droplets that come from both the cough and sneezes of the infected person.

It can affect especially some people who have skin infections caused by group A streptococci, or by those suffering from streptococcal tonsillitis.

How to prevent it?

So, The best way to avoid contagion is to maintain proper hygiene. For example, we should avoid touching our mouth, nose or eyes after touching any utensil or element that could have the droplets of the infected person.

For example, it is not advisable to drink from the same glass or eat from the same dish, as well as not to touch the sores caused by group A streptococcal infections on the skin.

Treatment of scarlet fever

With the aim of preventing rheumatic fever (serious complication of both scarlet fever and strep throat), antibiotics They are mainly used with the aim of eliminating the bacteria that cause the infection of the throat.

That is to say, scarlet fever is treated with antibiotics. But for this to be appropriate, it must first have been diagnosed by a doctor, and have prescribed such medications. The reason is more than obvious: many viruses can cause sore throat, fever and muscle pain, and yet do not require antibiotics for treatment.

For its diagnosis, the specialist performs what is known as the streptococcal test, which consists of taking a sample from the throat with the help of a swab in order to check for streptococcal bacteria of group A. If the test is positive, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to the child.

With this treatment the symptoms usually improve quickly. However, the characteristic skin eruption can last up to 2 or 3 weeks to completely disappear. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor.

Scarlet Fever (January 2024)