Scarlet fever in children | What is scarlet fever, its symptoms and how is it spread?
The website scarlet fever is an infectious disease characteristic of children, especially among 2 to 8 years old. Its main feature is a rash, usually associated with some angina (acute pharyngotonsillitis).
What is the cause ?
Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria beta-hemolytic streptococcus group A (pyongea). This micro-organism secretes a tocin which causes the rash or exanthema. In rare cases, scarlet fever can be recorded from a wound infected with the microbe, but in these cases, angina is not recorded.
What are the symptoms ?
Symptoms usually appear after an incubation period of 2 to 5 days. They are usually the following:
A high fever. More than 38.5°C for a minimum of three days and a maximum of five days.
Angina and sore throat (usually with patches of pus on the tonsils).
Abdominal pain, vomiting and headache..
Rash. May appear up to two days after the onset of fever. It usually consists of a reddish rash that is itchy to the touch. First appears on the face and neck, then spreads to the chest and extremities. It can last a week.
Tongue resembling a raspberry. (Occasional, and leaves the tongue whitish with reddish markings).
How does it spread?
The most common mode 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: infection of a wound.
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis is usually made by evaluating rashes and angina. An antigen test for streptococcus may also be performed.
Treatment is with oral antibiotics. If the rash is itchy, antihistamines can be given, also by mouth.
Can we avoid it?
Preventive measures can be taken when a case is known. It is advisable to take these precautions:
Hand washing after contact with the sick person.
School avoidance until the fever subsides.
Avoid close contact with children diagnosed with scarlet fever.
Can you get scarlet fever more than once?
Since there are at least three different types of toxins, the same person can get scarlet fever more than once if it is caused by a toxin to which they have not created antibodies.