Scarlet fever in children | What is scarlet fever, symptoms and how is it spread?

The scarlet fever or scarlet fever is an infectious disease characteristic of children, especially among the 2 and 8 years. Its main feature is a skin rash, usually associated with a few. angina (acute pharyngotonsillitis).

What is the cause?

Scarlet fever is caused by the bacteria Beta-hemolytic streptococcus of group A (pyoneges). This microorganism secretes a tocin that causes the rash or exanthema. Rarely, scarlet fever may be recorded from a wound infected by the microbe, although in these cases angina is not recorded.

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What symptoms does it give?

Symptoms usually manifest after an incubation period of 2 to 5 days. They are usually as follows::

  1. High fever. More than 38.5°C for a minimum of three days and a maximum of five days.

  2. Angina and sore throat (usually with pus plaques on tonsils).

  3. Abdominal pain, vomiting and headache..

  4. Skin rash. May appear up to two days after the onset of fever. It usually consists of a rash that is reddish and scratchy to the touch. It appears initially on the face and neck and then spreads to the chest and extremities. It may last for a week.

  5. Tongue with a ‘raspberry’ appearance. (Occasional, and leaves the tongue whitish with reddish markings).

How is it spread?

The most common way of transmission is through droplets of respiratory secretions from a sick person. It can also be transmitted by an asymptomatic carrier. The other route of transmission is the one mentioned above: by infection of a wound.

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Diagnosis and treatment.

Diagnosis is usually by evaluation of rashes and angina. Antigen testing for streptococcus may also be done.

Treatment is oral antibiotics. If the rash is accompanied by itching, an antihistamine may be administered, also orally.

Can it be prevented?

Preventive measures can be taken when there is knowledge of a case. It is advisable to adopt these preventive measures:

  1. Hand washing after contact with the sick person.

  2. Avoidance of school until the fever is gone.

  3. Avoid close contact with children diagnosed with scarlet fever.

Can you catch it more than once?

Since there are at least three different types of toxins, the same person can get scarlet fever several times if it is generated by a toxin for which he or she has not created antibodies.

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