What is it?
Scarlet fever is a highly contagious infection, in which streptococcus bacteria enter the body via tonsils. It is a serious disease with possible serious complications.
Symptoms: The initial symptoms mimic those of tonsillitis-sore throat, headache and fever. A bright red, itchy rash that feels like sand paper, the rash starts on the face, leaving a clear area around the mouth. It gradually spreads to the rest of the body. The tongue takes on a bright red strawberry-like appearance. After a week the rash fades and both the skin and the tongue begin to peel. Peeling can continue for 14 days or longer. Infectious from 24 hours before the onset of symptoms until three weeks thereafter.
Causes: Streptococcus bacteria
Possible complications: Rheumatic fever, Glomerulonephritis
Treatment in the home: Bedrest is mandatory, Give paracetamol in recommended doses to reduce fever, Give plenty of cold liquids to help soothe the throat.
When to consult a doctor: As soon as symptoms appear.
What the doctor may do: Prescribe a course of antibiotics.