Scarlet fever

Common Name(s)

Scarlet fever, Scarlatina

Scarlet fever is a bacterial illness that may develop in people who have strep throat (or more rarely from impetigo). Some types of bacteria that cause strep throat (group A Streptococcus) release a toxin that causes a red rash. Not everyone is sensitive to the toxin; therefore, in the same family one child may just have strep throat, while the other may have strep throat with the rash. Children 5-15 years of age are more likely than other ages to develop scarlet fever. The bacteria causing scarlet fever spreads through person-to-person via air droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs.

In addition to the symptoms due to a strep throat, symptoms of scarlet fever include a red rash that has the appearance of sunburn and feels like sandpaper. The rash begins on the face or neck and will spread to the rest of the body. The folds of skin may become a deeper red than the rest of the rash and the face may appear flushed with a pale ring around the mouth. Other symptoms may include fever, sore and red throat with white or yellow patches, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, body aches, abdominal pain, headache and enlarged glands in the neck (lymph nodes) that are tender to touch.

Diagnosis will involve a physical examination of the neck, throat, tonsils, and tongue as well as assessing the appearance and texture of the rash if present. A doctor will confirm the presence of strep bacteria by a throat swab. Treatment will involve antibiotics and supportive therapy including fluids, treating fever and pain, or humidifying the air. It is important for a child to be treated if they develop scarlet fever because rare complications such as rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart disease, and kidney problems may develop. Prognosis with treatment is excellent. If you or your child develops a rash with a sore throat, talk with your doctor about the most current treatment options.

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Scarlet fever" for support, advocacy or research.

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General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Scarlet fever" returned 62 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Scarlet Fever Epidemic in China Caused by Streptococcus pyogenes Serotype M12: Epidemiologic and Molecular Analysis.
 

Author(s): Yuanhai You, Mark R Davies, Melinda Protani, Liam McIntyre, Mark J Walker, Jianzhong Zhang

Journal: EBioMedicine. 2018 Feb;28():128-135.

 

From 2011, Hong Kong and mainland China have witnessed a sharp increase in reported cases, with subsequent reports of epidemic scarlet fever in North Asia and the United Kingdom. Here we examine epidemiological data and investigate the genomic context of the predominantly serotype ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Increasing Number of Scarlet Fever Cases, South Korea, 2011-2016.
 

Author(s): Jong-Hun Kim, Hae-Kwan Cheong

Journal: Emerging Infect. Dis.. 2018 01;24(1):172-173.

 

The increasing number of reported scarlet fever cases during 2011‒2016 in the National Notifiable Infectious Disease database in South Korea occurred because of increased overall reporting and expanded reporting criteria rather than because of increasing scarlet fever incidence. ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Far East Scarlet-like Fever Masquerading as Adult-onset Kawasaki Disease.
 

Author(s): Kazuki Ocho, Masaya Iwamuro, Kou Hasegawa, Hideharu Hagiya, Kammei Rai, Tetsuya Yumoto, Fumio Otsuka

Journal: Intern. Med.. 2018 Feb;57(3):437-440.

 

A previously healthy 31-year-old man was referred to us with refractory septic shock accompanied by bilateral conjunctival congestion and erythema of his right lower limb. Nine days after admission, he had bilateral desquamation of the fingertips, and his presentation satisfied the ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Scarlet fever" returned 1 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Hepatitis in scarlet fever.
 

Author(s): Keren Elishkewitz, Rivka Shapiro, Jacob Amir, Moshe Nussinovitch

Journal: Isr. Med. Assoc. J.. 2004 Sep;6(9):569-70.

 

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

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