Scarlatina, another name for Scarlet Fever, is characterized by a brilliant red rash that covers the majority of the body. Children aged 5 to 15 are most susceptible to developing scarlet fever. Scarlet fever has become less dangerous due to antibiotic treatments, despite once being thought of as a devastating pediatric ailment. Scarlet fever can nevertheless lead to more severe problems that impact the heart, kidneys, and other body organs if left untreated.
Scarlet fever is caused by the bacteria that causes Strep throat, known as Group A Streptococcus. T infection is spread through droplets released when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also be contacted through direct contact with infected person or contaminated surfaces. The incubation period is between 2 – 5 days. The risk factors of Scarlet Fever are young age, group settings (schools, daycare centers, and military training camps).
The symptoms of Scarlet Fever are fever, chills, headaches, body aches, red rashes, flushed face, strawberry tongue, enlarged lymph nodes, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, swollen tonsils, very sore red throat, difficulty swallowing and abdominal pain.
If Scarlet Fever is not treated, bacteria may spread to other parts of the body leading to further complications. The complications include rheumatic fever, abscess, skin infection, ear infection, septicaemia, pneumonia, kidney damage, meningitis, arthritis and paediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder.
Scarlet Fever can be diagnosed through Rapid Strep Antigen Test, Throat swab Microscopy and Culture. Treatment is by medications.
To prevent Scarlet Fever, good hygiene must be practiced. This involves proper hand washing, not sharing dinning utensils, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
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