Information about scarlet fever
What is scarlet fever?
Scarlet fever is an acute, contagious respiratory infection caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. It is the same virus that causes tonsillitis. Antibiotic treatment should be prescribed as soon as possible because bacteria multiply and produce a toxic substance that circulates in the blood and causes a serious infection. Incubation lasts between 1 and 7 days. The disease occurs mainly in children between 3-10 years old.
How scarlet fever is transmitted
It is spread by respiratory droplets from a person suffering from streptococcal tonsillitis or by the entry of the pathogen into the body after a surgery or trauma. The disease occurs within 72 hours of the infection and continues to be contagious until the first 2-3 days of antibiotic treatment has been completed.
Causes of scarlet fever
Scarlet fever occurs mostly in children and is caused by beta hemolytic streptococcus. The disease creates a lifelong immunity. It is transmitted by droplets.
Symptoms of scarlet fever
Scarlet fever manifests as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal and muscle pain, discomfort and weakness. If the patient suffers from tonsillitis, tonsils are red and swollen and a sore throat is common. The tongue is at first white and after a few days it turns red. Swollen lymph nodes are also observed. Scarlet fever is characterized by red rashes that first appear on the neck and face and then spread to rest of the body. The area around the mouth remains white. After three days, signs of recovery begin to appear, while red rashes start to fade.
Diagnosis of scarlet fever
The diagnosis is made by a clinical examination by the appropriate physician that includes blood tests and a throat swab culture. Through these tests, the cause of the disease can be diagnosed. The doctor examines the patient’s medical history and symptoms.
Treatment of scarlet fever
The treatment consists of the rapid administration of antibiotics, either penicillin or erythromycin, for 10 days. In addition, it is recommended to rinse the mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash, drink lots of fluids, maintain a good hand hygiene and rest. Children shouldn’t go to school until the disease is cured or until at least 3 days after taking antibiotics.
Complications of scarlet fever
If scarlet fever is not diagnosed and treated early, there is a risk of infection of the lymph nodes, otitis, rhinosinusitis or even meningitis, endocarditis, pneumonia, sinusitis, osteomyelitis, rheumatic fever or acute glomerulonephritis. Rapid administration of antibiotics reduces complications.
Prevention of scarlet fever
The best prevention includes early medication, good hygiene and isolation of the patient for at least 3 days after starting treatment.
The doctor to treat scarlet fever is the Pediatrician
Book your appointment with a Pediatrician