Scarlet Fever: All You Need to Grasp About Its Symptoms, Causes, and Complications

Scarlet fever to most people sounds like one of those ancient diseases that used to occur way back then, before the inception of antibiotics. This is true; however, scarlet fever still does happen currently, although it can easily be diagnosed and treated faster than how it used to be before.

Scarlet fever, also commonly referred to as scarlatina, is a highly contagious infection, which occurs due to the streptococcus bacteria.

Most of the patients we receive in our urgent care in San Antonio who suffer from scarlet fever symptoms are mainly aged between 5- 15 years of age. It is safe to say that scarlet fever is a childhood illness; however, scarlet fever occasionally affects adults, and you should avoid interacting with infected persons.

Causes of Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever is caused by a specific toxin that is produced by the streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. This type of bacteria is also responsible for strep throat infections, and patients who have strep throat can concurrently develop scarlet fever.
This bacteria naturally exists within your nasal passages and mouth. The toxin they produce leads to the development of a red rash in patients, which is one of the leading symptoms linked to scarlet fever.

Scarlet Fever Symptoms

This is a highly contagious bacterial infection, which is usually signified by the following symptoms:

  • A strawberry tongue- the tongue looks red and is covered by a whitish coating or layer that eventually peels off.
  • A flushed face
  • Reddish lines appear along the folds of the skin, such as the armpits, elbows, groin, and neck
  • A red rash- that resembles a sunburn and has a sandpaper texture. This rash tends to appear on the face, abdomen, arms, legs, and neck.
  • Pale skin along the lips

The above scarlet fever symptoms regularly occur in most patients who visit our Alamo City Urgent care in Shaenfield.
However, some other symptoms may accompany a scarlet fever infection and emerge even after the red rash and strawberry tongue have disappeared within a week.

These symptoms may include:

  • Difficulties swallowing
  • A high fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • A sore throat
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Abdominal pain

Scarlet fever is highly contagious, and the moment you notice any of the above symptoms, you should contact our Alamo City Urgent Care in Marbach or our urgent care near you for prompt treatment.

This is because if scarlet fever goes untreated and unchecked, it can lead to complications.

Complications That Can Arise Due to Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever can give way to the following complications if left untreated:

  • Pneumonia
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Ear infections
  • Throat abscess
  • Sinusitis
  • Kidney inflammation

These are some of the common complications that can occur if scarlet fever treatment is not promptly issued to a patient.
Other complications that can occasionally accompany a scarlet fever infection include:

  • Meningitis
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Kidney failure
  • Cardiac disease
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Necrotizing fasciitis

Scarlet Fever Treatment

Although mild cases of scarlet fever will tend to dissipate without medical intervention within a week, it is essential to get treated to rule out the emergence of any complications.

The treatment will ideally involve the use of antibiotics, which our doctor will prescribe for you to use to clear out the infection faster. It is vital to ensure that the infected person completed taking the prescribed dosage of antibiotics even after they begin to feel better before completing the prescribed dosage.

Finishing your prescribed dosage will make your recovery process faster, and make you less contagious to the uninfected people around you.

Our doctor may also prescribe painkillers to control the fever and some antihistamine creams to help deal with the itch and rash.

How Is Scarlet Fever Transmitted?

Scarlet fever is transmitted when uninfected individuals come into contact with infected patients’ mucus secretions or saliva. The droplets that are released when an infected person sneezes or coughs can potentially contaminate surfaces leading to the spread of the infection.

Scarlet fever is highly contagious; therefore, children suffering from this infection need to stay away from school and complete their antibiotic dosage before resuming school activities.

Good hygiene practices such as regular washing of hands after coughing or sneezing, before meals and after using the washroom can help keep this infection at bay.

Practicing proper sneezing and coughing etiquette can also prevent the spread of scarlet fever.

Contact us Alamo City Urgent Care for prompt treatment of scarlet fever and its symptoms.