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 54 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Scarlet Fever.
 

Author(s): Alyson Brinker

Journal: N. Engl. J. Med.. 2017 May;376(20):1972.

 

Last Updated: 17 May 2017

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Genome analysis following a national increase in Scarlet Fever in England 2014.
 

Author(s): Victoria Chalker, Aleksey Jironkin, Juliana Coelho, Ali Al-Shahib, Steve Platt, Georgia Kapatai, Roger Daniel, Chenchal Dhami, Marisa Laranjeira, Timothy Chambers, Rebecca Guy, Theresa Lamagni, Timothy Harrison, Meera Chand, Alan P Johnson, Anthony Underwood,

Journal:

 

During a substantial elevation in scarlet fever (SF) notifications in 2014 a national genomic study was undertaken of Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococci, GAS) isolates from patients with SF with comparison to isolates from patients with invasive disease (iGAS) to test the ...

Last Updated: 11 Mar 2017

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Effect of administration of Streptococcus salivarius K12 on the occurrence of streptococcal pharyngo-tonsillitis, scarlet fever and acute otitis media in 3 years old children.
 

Author(s): F Di Pierro, M Colombo, M G Giuliani, M L Danza, I Basile, T Bollani, A M Conti, A Zanvit, A S Rottoli

Journal: Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2016 Nov;20(21):4601-4606.

 

Streptococcus salivarius K12 (BLIS K12) is a probiotic strain strongly antagonistic to the growth of Streptococcus pyogenes, the most important bacterial cause of pharyngeal infections in humans. Shown to colonize the oral cavity and to be safe for human use, BLIS K12 has previously ...

Last Updated: 22 Nov 2016

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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: 17 Sep 2004

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

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