Scarlet Fever

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Scarlet fever is a bacterial disease that is usually a complication of strep throat. It is also known as Scarletina. It is more common in children between the ages of 5-15. Previously, a serious childhood illness, now considered much less harmful, because it can easily be brought under control by Antibiotics.


Scarlet fever is triggered by the same type of bacteria that causes a sore throat – streptococcus. When the bacteria release a toxin into the bloodstream, it leads to the development of a rash.


The signs and symptoms of scarlet fever include:

  • Red rash on the entire body
  • Red lines – the areas where the skin folds, the rash becomes a deeper color
  • Flushed face
  • Strawberry tongue
  • Fever with chills
  • Sore and red throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache


After the history and physical examination, the following tests are used to confirm the diagnosis of scarlet fever:

  • Throat swab
  • Blood culture


Treatment is simply antibiotics.

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