Exanthematous diseases: scarlet fever

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Philippe Gloaguen
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In this article

  • what is scarlet fever
  • how long the incubation of scarlet fever lasts
  • when and how contagious it is
  • symptoms
  • it's dangerous?
  • care

What is scarlet fever


Scarlet fever is one contagious exanthematous disease of bacterial origin, due to Group A beta hemolytic streptococcus and in particular at toxins produced by him. This germ can also be responsible for other diseases such as pharyngitis or pharyngotonsillitis and impetigo.





When and who it hits

It mainly affects children in school age, it is very rare up to the age of two and practically never strikes before six months. It is more common in winter months.

Can you get sick several times?

Since there are several strains, you can get sick with scarlet fever several times.

Read also: Exanthematous diseases, symptoms and treatments and scarlet fever, 11 things to know

How long does scarlet fever incubation last?


The incubation period lasts two to five days from the contagion.



When is scarlet fever contagious?


Scarlet fever is transmitted by air with droplets of saliva (coughing, sneezing ...) from a sick person or even a carrier. The patient is very contagious especially during the acute phase of the disease while it is very infectious in the period that precedes it and is no longer so after 24/36 hours from the beginning of the necessary antibiotic therapy.



What are the symptoms of scarlet fever?


After two or three days from the infection, one usually appears high fever and sudden, often accompanied by sore throat, vomiting, chills and headache. The tongue is initially covered with a white patina which will then become raspberry red. Within a day or two, the rash, which is a characteristic, also arrives rash which looks like a uniform redness.

Read also: Sore throat in children, causes, drugs and natural remedies

It is actually a myriad of reddish specks which begin to manifest on the hot and humid parts of the body such as the groin and armpits, and then spread to the trunk, arms and legs. Eventually the rash affects the whole body (except the inside of the elbows) and the face, except around the mouth.

The rash lasts 3-4 days, then turns pale, the fever disappears and one takes over peeling of the skin, especially on the palms and feet, which lasts about two to three weeks.

It was once believed that there was also a milder form of scarlet fever, called scarlet fever or fourth disease, but today the scientific community believes that this form does not exist. 9 PHOTOS

Scarlet fever in children: photos to recognize it

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Scarlet fever is a bacterial infectious disease that occurs with the appearance of sore throat, vomiting, fever and headache. The rash can spread all over the body and ...

Is it a serious illness?


Generally not, but if it is not adequately treated, the toxins released by the responsible bacterium can compromise, in the most serious cases, the functionality of the heart, kidneys, liver and joints.

As in streptococcal pharyngitis, late immunological complications such as rheumatic disease, which involves fever and joint pain, and the glomerulonephritis borne by the kidney.


How is scarlet fever treated?

It is treated with antibiotic therapy, which is necessary to avoid the risk of complications. Typically the prescribed medication is amoxicillin, to be taken by mouth for 10 days (doctors recommend NOT to stop taking it, even if your symptoms improve).

Medicines can also be combined to relieve symptoms, such as paracetamol as an antipyretic.

Sources for this article: information material of the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital (here and here), information material of the Healthy Children website, of the American Association of Pediatricians

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Updated on 17.03.2022

TAG:
  • scarlet fever
  • infectious diseases
  • scarlet fever symptoms
  • exanthematous diseases
  • beta hemolytic streptococcus
  • streptoccocco group a
  • scarlet fever children
  • 3-5 children years
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