Scarlet fever: Symptoms and management

Scarlet fever can be triggered by the same bacteria that trigger the development of strep throat. This condition is typically spread via contact with an infected individual. There is a distinctive rash that oftentimes develops among those who have strep throat. Take note that the rash is often seen among children 18 years old and below.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • The presence of small-sized red-colored bumps on the chest and stomach. The rashes are redder in appearance in the creases of the elbows, armpits and groin region. The rash is similar to sunburn and the area feels similar to sandpaper. Take note that the rash can last for 2-7 days.
  • Flushed face with pale areas around the mouth
  • Fever of 101 degrees F or higher
  • Reddened, sore throat that might have yellow or white patches and difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen glands in the neck
    Scarlet fever

    Reddened, sore throat that might have yellow or white patches and difficulty swallowing

  • White coating on the tongue. The tongue might have a strawberry-like appearance due to the bumps on the tongue that appear bigger

Treatment for scarlet fever

The treatment for scarlet fever involves antibiotics that are given by the doctor. There are also over-the-counter pain medications that can be used to provide relief to the sore throat pain. Even though the condition can run its course, it is still best to consult a doctor to ensure faster recovery as well as avoid any complications from developing.

Antibiotics are typically used in managing scarlet fever. The treatment lasts for 10 days that the individual should complete to ensure that the bacteria are eliminated. Even though the child appears fine, the antibiotic therapy should be completed.

How scarlet fever spreads

Since scarlet fever spreads via contact with an infected individual, there are measures to observe.

  • Avoid sharing or eating or drinking utensils with a sick child.
  • If there are other children in the house, do not exposed or allow them to come in contact with the sick child.
  • Always wash hands after contact with a sick child.

Do not forget that coughing and sneezing can spread the infection rapidly.

Important tips to bear in mind

  • Do not allow sharing of drinking or eating utensils with the sick child.
  • The child should not return to school until at least a day after antibiotics are started.
  • You can provide the child with milkshakes or ice cream to replace the lost fluids due to fever as well as help relieve the sore throat pain.
  • If a cool mist humidifier is available, it should be placed in the room of the child. It works by preventing the dryness of the throat.
  • Encourage the child to get enough rest to allow faster recovery from the condition.


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