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Scarlet fever

Scarlatina, also called streptococcal pharyngitis and exudative rheumatic fever, is caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria (also known as strep throat). It occurs after strep pharyngitis and occasionally after a strep skin infection. The strep bacteria release an exotoxin that causes the classic sandpaper-like rash, as well as other symptoms. The strep bacteria may also spread the infection to other parts of the body. This can lead to pneumonia or heart attacks in some people. Scarlet fever is very contagious. It spreads through contact with droplets from an infected person’s nose and mouth. It can also spread through sharing towels, utensils, and clothing. People who do not react to the strep bacteria’s exotoxin will not have symptoms and cannot spread the infection to others.

Scarlet Fever Unveiled: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Explained

A healthcare professional can usually diagnose scarlet fever from a history and physical exam. The medical professional will likely swab the back of your child’s throat and run a rapid strep test. The result of the rapid strep test will tell them whether or not your child has group A strep bacteria. If the test is negative, your doctor will take a throat culture swab and wait for it to grow to see if there are any group A strep bacteria present.

Your child will receive antibiotics to treat the infection and help your child’s body fight off the strep bacteria. The treatment plan may also include home remedies like warm salt gargles and oatmeal baths to soothe a sore throat. You should not send your child to school or daycare until they have been on antibiotics for at least 12 hours and no longer have a fever. Never give your child aspirin to relieve throat pain or fever, as it can cause a dangerous condition called Reye syndrome.

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