Scarlet fever is a condition that most commonly affects children, and is caused by the streptococcus bacteria. Main symptoms are a sore throat and a rash, both on the skin and on the surface of the tongue, together with a red flushing of the cheeks and neck.
Scarlet fever is highly contagious, and your child should see a doctor if they experience any of these symptoms. Antibiotics usually clear up the infection. If left untreated, scarlet fever can develop into more serious conditions such as pneumonia, sinusitis, or rheumatic fever.
Symptoms of scarlet fever
- A rash that develops within the first 24 hours of illness and spreads quickly, causing red streaks to appear in the creases of the skin and around the elbows and armpits in particular
- Skin peels after the rash has gone
- Sore throat
- Flushing of the cheeks and neck, causing an overall redness in appearance
- General unwell feelings
- Thick, white coating on the tongue which peels after a few days, leaving behind a strawberry red colour.
Treatment with antibiotics will usually get rid of the disease within a week.