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Scarlet Fever

What is Scarlet Fever?

Scarlet fever is a disease caused by an infection with Group A streptococcal bacteria. Not everyone affected with Group A streptococcal bacteria will develop scarlet fever. Some people less sensitive to Group A streptococcal bacteria than others.

Symptoms of Scarlet Fever

The most common symptom of scarlet fever is the appearance of a skin rash in a child who has an infection caused by Group A streptococci bacteria. The infection is usually a strep throat infection. In rare cases, the infection may be an impetigo infection.

Other symptoms include a reddened sore throat, red tonsils, a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, chills, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and swollen glands in the neck.

Scarlet Fever Rash

The rash of scarlet fever usually begins like a bad sunburn with tiny bumps. The rash often itches. The rash usually appears first on the neck and face, often leaving a clear unaffected area around the mouth. The rash spreads to the chest and back, then to the rest of the body. Areas of the skin affected by the rash usually turn white when you press on them. The rash usually fades by the sixth day. After the sixth day, the affected skin may begin to peel.

How is Scarlet Fever Transmitted?

Group A streptococcal infections that cause scarlet fever are very contagious. Strep bacteria can be passed through contact with the nasal or throat fluids of someone with a strep throat infection. Strep bacteria can also be transmitted by touching the infected skin of someone who has strep impetigo, or by sharing towels, clothing or bed linen.

Treatment Options for Scarlet Fever

Scarlet Fever can be treated. Your doctor will prescribe medicines to help the symptoms of Scarlet Fever. The most common medicines prescribed are: antibiotics, skin ointment for the rash, and a fever reducer.

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