What is Scarlet Fever

What is scarlet fever?

Scarlet fever is infection caused by the impact of bacteria known as GAS- group A streptococcus. This bacterium causes many other infections also, but the major infection is scarlet fever as in this it produces the toxin that toxin causes the red skin rash, which is one of the symptoms of scarlet fever. Scarlet fever in children is very common and it normally occurs in the age of 4 to 8 years. The infection generally starts in the throat and causes the typical strep throat which later produces the skin rash. Scarlet fever in kids is very mild and is can be easily resolve with some antibiotic treatment. Merely small number of people reaches to the sever stage of disease that might include the invasion of bacteria into the blood stream, bone and in tissues.

The disease came into observation when disease like measles, yellow fever and chickenpox caused the rashes and fever in children. Scarlet fever is never life threatening, but in some cases it can be sever. Let us have a look at some of the causes of scarlet fever.

Causes of scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is mainly caused by the coccal shaped bacterium known as streptococcus progenies. This is the same bacteria that normally causes the strep throat and also associated with the other disease like rheumatic fever. In scarlet fever, the GAS bacterium produces the specific protein toxin. This toxin causes the fever and is also responsible for the typical rashes on the skin.

Symptoms for scarlet fever

Scarlet fever generally starts from the sore throat followed by the fever. Normal headache, fatigue and large lymph in the neck are the common symptoms for scarlet fever. Scarlet fever in children also sometimes shows the signs like abdominal pain and vomiting. You can also find that your throat might be inflamed and there might be yellow patches on the back of throat. You will find the rashes on the skin within 2 to 3 days of fever. The rashes usually start from the chest and it spread in arms and legs. You wil not find any rashes on soles or on palm. Places such as elbow you will see the deep red lines which is also known as pastia lines. Typically these rashes are diffused red and but there may be some areas where you will find them cherry red.

Diagnoses of scarlet fever

Strep throat scarlet fever is diagnosed when patient goes for physical examination. The doctor will look inside the mouth and will try to feel around the neck. They will also look for rashes and will check the fever. The concrete test for diagnosing the scarlet fever consists of positive rapid screen test to look for the level of toxin produced by the GAS bacteria. Doctor also look for the typical symptoms and based on that decide the treatment to be given for the scarlet fever.

Treatment of scarlet fever

The typical treatment of scarlet fever consists of antibiotics, bed rest and some fluids. The antibiotics are same as given at the time of strep throat; oral penicillin is another drug which is given for 10 days. In case if the infection spreads then intravenous antibiotics are preferred for the relief.

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