Scarlet fever, also known as scarlatina, is an infection that typically occurs in individuals with strep throat. It manifests through a vibrant red rash, high fever, and a sore throat. The bacteria responsible for strep throat is also the culprit behind scarlet fever. Moreover, this condition predominantly affects children aged 5 to 15 years old.
According to Public Health England, the number of cases surged in 2018, with a peak of 735 reported in a single week. Although antibiotics reduced the severity, the bacteria responsible for strep throat and scarlet fever are still evolving. Kid’s Health explains that streptococcus bacteria release toxins, leading to scarlet fever and rashes resembling sunburn that peel after about a week.
What are the symptoms of scarlet fever?
It presents with several symptoms, including red rashes, a sore throat, itchy skin, abdominal pain, a flushed face, high fever, strawberry tongue (characterized by white dots on the tongue), chills, swollen tonsils, pale skin around the lips, and swollen neck glands.
To prevent its spread, ensure you or your child remain in quarantine if infected. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted through sneezing or coughing. Avoid sharing food or drinks with individuals suffering from scarlet fever or strep throat.
What treatments might work?
Scarlet fever is typically treated with antibiotics and over-the-counter medication for fever control. Sore throat relief can be found through warm soup, ice cream, gargling salt water, and using a cool air humidifier. Hydration is crucial, along with diligent handwashing, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding sharing utensils or glasses.