Wanted: Scarlet Fever

What to Look Out For

Scarlet fever is also called scarlatina. It is caused by the streptococcus bacteria, but more specifically, group A. This bacteria has an almost rod like shape.
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Plan of Attack

Scarlet fever attacks the body by causing a sore throat/nose and the bacteria releases toxins that cause a pinky-red rash. It is spread by coughing or sneezing, and by sharing cups or plates with an infected person. It may also be caused by strep throat.

Symptoms

An infected person should expect to have a severe sore throat, vomiting, fever, chills, headaches, weakness, abdominal pain, a whitish coating on the tongue or back of the throat, and a rash. The rash usually starts around the face and neck area and can spread to under the arms, elbows, and groin area. It will start out as small red patches that can turn into bumps that compare to sandpaper. The rash lasts around 6-7 days.

Treatment

Scarlet fever can be cured by taking blood samples and looking for elevated white blood cell levels as well as for antibodies to the toxins. However, these things aren't necessary. Most patients are given antibiotics such as penicillin or erythromycin.

Crime Stats & Damage

The most affected age group is children ages 6-12. However, anybody to come in to contact with the illness may get it as well. Scarlet fever can have some long term effects, such as rheumatic fever, kidney disease, otitis media, skin infections, pneumonia, and arthritis. However, most of these can be prevented with antibiotics.