Scarlet fever and children: what is it, what symptoms does it give and how is it spread?
The scarlet fever or scarlet fever It is an infectious disease characteristic of children, especially among 2 and 8 years. Its main feature is a skin rash, normally associated with some angina (acute pharyngitis).
What is the cause?
The cause of scarlet fever is the bacteria beta-hemolytic streptococcus from group A (pyoneges). This microorganism secretes a bacon that causes the eruption or exanthema. On rare occasions, scarlet fever can be recorded from a wound infected by the microbe, although angina is not reported in these cases.
What symptoms does it give?
Symptoms usually manifest after an incubation period of 2 to 5 days. They are usually these:
High fever. More than 38.5ºC for a minimum of three days and a maximum of five.
Tonsils and sore throat (usually with plaques of pus on tonsils).
Abdominal pain, vomiting and headache.
Acne. It can appear up to two days after the onset of fever. It usually consists of a reddish rash that is scratchy to the touch. It initially appears on the face and neck and then spreads to the thorax and extremities. It can last a week.
‘Raspberry’ looking tongue. (It is occasional, and leaves the tongue whitish with reddish markings)
How is it contagious?
The most common form of contagion is through droplets of respiratory secretions from a sick person. You can also infect an asymptomatic carrier. The other way of contagion is the one mentioned before: by infection of a wound.
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis is usually by evaluation of rashes and angina. An antigen test can also be done to detect strep.
Treatment is oral antibiotics. If the rash is accompanied by itching, an antihistamine can be administered, also orally.
Can it be prevented?
Preventive measures can be taken when a case is known. It is advisable to adopt these precautions:
Handwashing after being in contact with the patient.
avoid going to class until the fever subsides.
Avoid close contact with children diagnosed with scarlet fever.
Can you get it more than once?
Since there are at least three different types of toxins, the same person can suffer scarlet fever several times if it is generated by a toxin for which they have not developed antibodies.
Source of data and images: elperiodico