The early symptoms of scarlett fever

The early symptoms of scarlett fever – also known as scarlatina – usually are fever and sore throat. 1-2 days after infection, a sunburn-looking, bumpy rash with itchiness appears on the neck and face but not around the mouth. The rash spreads to the chest and back, and proceeds from thereto the rest of the body. The rash – which may have a sandpaper feel – forms red lines around the groin, armpits, elbows, knees and neck, and other body creases.

Scarlett fever symptoms include:

·         Flushed face.

·         Strawberry tongue (a white coating on the tongue, tonsils, or the back of the throat).

·         Red, sore throat.

·         Fever of 101 F or higher.

·         Headache.

·         Body aches.

·         Nausea.

·         Vomiting.

·         Chills.

·         Appetite loss.

·         Abdominal pain.

·         Swollen neck glands.

The same bacteria that causes strep throat (group A streptococcus) also causes scarlett fever, in which case is discharges a toxin that produces the red rash and red tongue. Anyone can be infected with scarlett fever, but children aged 5-15 are most commonly affected. Fever typically stops in 3-5 days, followed by the sore throat. The rash begins to fade at about the 6th day, at which point the skin may begin to peel for the next 10 days. But even if the infection were to resolve by itself, it can still have rare but serious complications, such as:

·         Rheumatic fever.

·         Kidney disease.

·         Ear infections.

·         Skin infections.

·         Throat abscesses.

·         Pneumonia.

·         Arthritis.

In light of this, parents should bring children with the aforementioned symptoms to the doctor. The physician will perform a physical exam to check the throat, tonsils, and tongue, feel the neck for enlarged lymph nodes, and evaluate the appearance and texture of the rash. In addition to that, the healthcare provider may swab the tonsils and back of the throat to gather samples for lab tests to rule a virus-related sore throat. If the child does have scarlett fever, and since this is a bacterial infection – i.e., caused by group A strep bacteria and not by a virus – the doctor can and will prescribe an antibiotic. The course of treatment is usually 10 days.

Home remedies can also relieve the patient’s discomfort and pain, for instance:

·         Over-the-counter medication for fever and pain (ibuprofen or acetaminophen).

·         Drinking plenty of fluids.

·         Saltwater gargles.

·         Using a cool mist humidifier.

·         Lozenges.

·         Warm liquids (soup, tea) or cold treats (ice pops, slushies).

·         Avoiding irritants.

Group A strep bacteria can reside in the nose and throat of an infected person, and be transmitted through the air via droplets when the person coughs or sneezes. If you come in contact with these droplets by touching something that they fell on and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, you may become infected yourself. The incubation period is 2-4 days, but the rash can appear before prior to illness or up to 7 days later. Therefore, parents should teach their children to cover their mouths when coughing sneezing, wash their hands with warm water and soap, and refrain from sharing eating utensils or food with others.

Related: Early symptoms of flu