How to recognize and treat scarlet fever?

It is rather children aged 5 to 10 who are concerned, and mainly in winter.

An infection caused by bacteria, which is accompanied by fever, sore throat and rash? It’s here scarlet fever. This bacterium is to be classified in the family of streptococci. By penetrating into the body, it will produce toxic substances causing the signs of the disease.

And it spares the youngest children, those under 2 years old being immunized via their mother’s antibodies through the placenta. By the age of 10, a large majority of individuals have produced the antibodies allowing them lifelong immunity.

Scarlet fever: its modes of transmission

Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus is present in secretions from the pharynx and nose. The bacterium is transmitted via:

  • airway;
  • hands stained with the secretions of a sick individual;
  • on the occasion of kisses.

The fact that small epidemics are created in schools comes from the fact that the sick person is contagious before the symptoms manifest.

Symptoms of scarlet fever

Fever and angina

A fever of at least 38.5°C appears, accompanied by chills and angina. The throat is red, inflamed, the glands in the neck are swollen and the tonsils are swollen.

Headaches, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain can also be part of the list of signs.

Skin rash

24 or 48 hours after the onset of angina, the individual’s skin takes on a red hue taking the form of bright red patches with no interstices of healthy skin. Brighter red dots dot it and the skin is rough or grainy.

It is first under the armpits, in the folds of the elbow and the groin that it begins, then the eruption affects the upper chest, the lower abdomen, the face with the exception of the circumference of the the mouth, and the extremities except the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.


The tongue is covered with a thick white layer, before losing it in the periphery-center direction. After a few days, the tongue is raw and appears raspberry red.

Consultation and treatment

It is necessary to consult without delay when a enfant has a fever exceeding 40°C. But also, when he is dozing, or when his skin has purplish spots that do not disappear when you exert pressure. Intense headaches accompanied by stiffness in the neck, breathing that has become difficult should also alert.

When the diagnosis is made, antibiotic treatment is put in place.

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