Scarlet fever in children

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2007, 18:41 [IST]
 
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Scarlet fever also known as scarlatina, it is an infectious disease that causes a rash. Associated with an infection by streptococci, such as strep throat. The rash of scarlet fever is typically a fine, sandpaper-like rash that consists of small red bumps. Scarlet fever most commonly occurs in children between the ages of 2 and 10. It is spread from direct contact with a child who is infected, through secretions from the mouth or nose.

What causes scarlet fever?
It is caused by toxins that are produced by bacteria, the most common bacterium is group A Ï¿e - hemolytic streptococcus (GABHS). These bacteria release a toxin that travels through your child's bloodstream and causes a rash.

What are the symptoms of scarlet fever?
The following are the common initial symptoms of scarlet fever. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • chills
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • stomach ache
  • coated white tongue
The rash begins one to two days after the initial infection. The red sandpaper-like rash is noted on the neck, forehead, cheeks, and chest and then may spread to the arms and back. The rash usually begins to fade after three to four days. The symptoms of scarlet fever may resemble other skin conditions or medical problems.

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