What is Scarlet Fever
Scarlet fever is caused by group A streptococcus
bacteria which make a poison that can cause the scarlet-colored
rash from which this illness gets its name. The incubation period
of scarlet fever in children is usually 1 - 4 days. If a child has
this scarlet rash and other symptoms of strep throat, it can be
treated with antibiotics. So if your child has these symptoms,
it's important to call your doctor.
Complications of Scarlet fever
If your child has impetigo, scarlet fever can also be spread by
touch. People living in crowded conditions are more at risk of the
condition. If left untreated Scarlet fever can cause which
Acute Rheumatic Fever
Adenitis Or Abscess
Middle Ear Infection,
of Scarlet fever
Scarlet fever is caused by
If an infected person coughs
or sneezes, the bacteria can become airborne, or the bacteria
may be present on things the person touches - a drinking glass
or a doorknob.
Scarlet fever strep bacteria
can also contaminate food, especially milk, but this mode of
transmission isn't as common.
Strep bacteria that cause
scarlet fever spread from one person to another by fluids from
the mouth and nose.
Streptococcal bacteria, the
same bacteria that cause strep throat. The type of strep that
infects the throat and causes scarlet fever is called group A
beta-hemolytic streptococcus (GABS).
If scarlet fever isn't treated,
a person may be contagious for a few weeks even after the illness
itself has passed.
Signs & Symptoms of Scarlet fever
The following are the common initial symptoms of scarlet fever.
The rash begins one to two days after the initial infection. The
red sandpaper-like rash is noted on the neck, forehead, cheeks,
and chest and then may spread to the arms and back. The rash
usually begins to fade after three to four days. The symptoms of
scarlet fever may resemble other skin conditions or medical
Loss of Appetite
Rashes like a sunburn
Swollen neck glands
How is scarlet fever
To diagnose the cause of your child’s rash or sore throat, your
doctor or healthcare provider will examine your child and swab the
back of the throat with a cotton swab. The swab will be then used
for a throat culture or a rapid antigen test (sometimes called a
“rapid strep test”) to see if there is a group A strep infection.
Is there anything else I can do to make
my child feel better?
Warm liquids like soup or cold foods like popsicles or milkshakes
help to ease the pain of the sore throat. Offer these to your
child often, especially when he/she has a fever since the body
needs a lot of fluid when it is sick with a fever. A cool mist
humidifier will help to keep the air in your child's room moist
which will keep the throat from getting too dry and more sore.
Your child needs plenty of rest.
What should I do if I think my child has
If you think your child has scarlet fever, take your child to his
or her doctor right away. The doctor may give your child drugs
that fight germs (antibiotics). Do not let your child return to
daycare or school until he or she has taken the antibiotics for at
least 24 hours.
sTreatments of Scarlet fever
If the child has a rash and the doctor suspect scarlet fever, he
or she will usually take a throat culture to see if the bacteria
grow in the laboratory. Once a strep infection is confirmed, the
doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic for your child to be
taken for about 10 days.
Antibiotics: With antibiotic treatment the
fever improves within 12 - 24 hours and recovery is made in 4 -
5 days. It would be a long process and may take a few weeks to
treat swollen glands and tonsils to return to normal.
It is very important that the child should
completes the full course of antibiotics
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