Scarlet Fever Is Back! Watch Out for These Symptoms

Old diseases like scarlet fever are still present in the modern world. Namely, scarlet fever has again risen in England and East Asia as per a recent study released in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Primary schools across Great Britain are being impacted by this contagious disease and epidemics. The reason for such rise of this disease is linked to the existence of “super resistant and aggressive” strain.

According to the author of the study, Theresa Lamagni, this disease is taking its toll. Here it is what she says:

“While current rates (in England) are very close to those of the early 1900s, the magnitude of the recent upsurge is greater than anything documented in the last century. While the notifications received so far for 2017 suggest a slight decrease in numbers, we continue to monitor the situation closely … and research continues to investigate further. “

This study reveals that scarlet fever has always been a common cause of infant mortality, however there is tendency of decline every four to six years.

This disease was kept under control thanks to the use of antibiotics, but it seems that they are not as efficient as before.

Dr. Christine Coquart confirms the same opinion claiming that:  “scarlet fever is not a reportable disease; it remains difficult to have a clear idea of ​​the number of children affected”.

How to recognize scarlet fever?

First of all, let us explain what actually a scarlet fever is. It is a bacterial disease manifested by strep throat and high fever. It is recognized by its common manifestation with bright red rash that covers most parts of the body.  It is a common disease in children in the age of 5 to 15 years old.

In the past, this disease was a serious childhood disease, but thanks to the discovery of antibiotics it can be easily treated. Yet, its treatment needs to get initiated on time as if left untreated; it can lead to more serious health issues involving the heart, kidneys and other body parts.

Symptoms of Scarlet Fever

The most common ones are:

  • Rash

It primarily affects the face or neck and then spreads to the trunk, arms and legs. If you apply pressure to the reddened skin, it will fade away.

  • Red lines

The rash is commonly being accompanied with skin folds around the groin, armpits, elbows, knees and neck having a darker red color.

  • Red face

The affected person may have a red face with a pale ring around the mouth.

  • Strawberry tongue

The tongue becomes red and bumpy and it is commonly covered with white liquid at the beginning of the illness.

The rashes and redness in the face and tongue are present for up to a week. When these signs and symptoms disappear, the affected skin often starts to peel.

Other symptoms of scarlet fever:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Fever, starting from 38.3 ° C or even higher, accompanied by chills
  • Painful red throat, in some cases with white or yellow spots
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lymph nodes, sensitive to touch

Treatment of Scarlet Fever

In mild cases of scarlet fever the disease can disappear by itself within a week. Nonetheless, the proper treatment is very important as it will accelerate the recovery period and naturally lower the risk of complications. Commonly, it is followed a 10-day oral antibiotic treatment like penicillin.

After taking the first antibiotic the fever will be gone within 12 to 24 hours and the affected patients will recover within 4 to 5 days after they have initiated the antibiotic treatment.

Prevention of Scarlet Fever

  • Boost the immunity

If you have better immunity, then the body can easily fight against diseases caused by infection. Your immunity can get boosted if you follow a healthy and balanced diet, increasing the vitamin D level in the body. This vitamin is naturally obtained via sun exposure or through the intake of foods like eggs, oily fish and mushrooms. In addition to all this, make certain to sleep properly.

  • Wash your hands

Washing your hands frequently is probably one of the most effective ways to protect yourself against diseases like scarlet fever as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Avoid sharing personal effects and utensils with other people

This bacterial infection can be easily contracted if you have used the personal effects of the infected person.

  • Do not get near people with streptococcal disease

People that suffer from streptococcal infections are spreading the bacteria which may put you at risk of contacting scarlet fever.


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