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Scarlet Fever: Identifying Symptoms & Treatment

Scarlet fever can be a very serious disease, although today the effects are relatively mild and can be treated. However, scarlet fever is contagious and can be caught be the transfer of bacteria, transferred through sneezing and water droplets (which in some cases can mean the disease is contagious simply by breathing on someone else).

Symptoms of Scarlet Fever

The most characteristic symtpom of scarlet fever is a red rash, which feels rough like sandpaper to the touch and spreads quickly. The rash can start in one area and spread to the rest of the body.

Other symtpoms of scarlet fever, alongside the rash, are:

  • - Flushed, red face, but the skin around the mouth may remain white;
  • - Swollen neck glands;
  • - Headache;
  • - Loss of appetite;
  • - Stomach pain;
  • - Nausea or vomiting;
  • - White coating on the tongue, which will peel a few days later causing a red discolouration on the tongue.

The symtpoms of scarlet fever will appear 3 to 5 days after initial infection.

Who is affected by scarlet fever?

Anyone can catch scarlet fever, but it is normally young children below the age of 8 who are most likely to catch the disease. After the age of 10, children will develop greater immune systems to fight off the virus, and they are rarely affected by it after this age.

Scarlet fever occurs from toxins of streptoccal bacteria, so it is likely that a children can catch scarlet fever if they are in a crowded environment, or indoors through most the day, with someone who has a sore throat or skin infection caused by streptoccal bacteria.

Treatment

Most symptoms of scarlet fever will disappear a few weeks after the initial infection, but you can always seek treatment if you wish to speed up recovery and avoid potential complications. The most common treatment for scarlet fever is a 10 day course of antibiotics, combined with drinking additional fluids, keeping room temperatures cool and using prescribed lotion to relieve itching.

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