Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever, photo from

Scarlet fever— An acute infectious disease characterized by fever, intoxication, sore throat and rash abundant spot. Get sick more often than children 2-10 years.

The causative agent of scarlet fever is streptococcus A group which can also cause kidney disease (glomerulunofrit), angina, chronic tonsillitis, rheumatic fever and other diseases. Scarlet fever occurs, if at the time of infection by streptococcus no immunity to it.

The source of infection— Sick with scarlet fever, sore throat, or "healthy" carrier stereptokokkov. The incubation period usually lasts from 1 to 10 days. A child is considered to be contagious one day before the onset of symptoms and in the next 2-3 weeks.

The infection is transmitted airborne by (sneezing, with kisses and so on). In addition, you can get infected with scarlet fever through food, general utensils, clothing, or just hold the handle of the door, which opened before a perfectly healthy-looking vehicle of infection.

What's going on?

Getting to the mucosa streptococcus causes inflammatory changes in the nasopharynx. Microbe produces a large number of toxic substances — eritrotoksina. Once in the blood, the toxin destroys red blood cells and causes intoxication (poisoning the whole body). Under its action in all organs, including the skin and mucous membranes, expanding the small vessels, which leads to the appearance of the characteristic rash. Eritrotoksin causes the death of the outer layer of skin — the epidermis, causing severe flaking of the skin.

By the end of the first week of the disease begins to produce immunity to the streptococcus. Synthesis and accumulation of antibodies binding to their toxins leads to the reduction and elimination of signs of toxicity and the gradual disappearance of the rash.

What are the symptoms?

Scarlet fever begins sharply: a sharp rise in temperature up to 39 º C. Baby complains of headache, nausea, marked malaise, pain on swallowing.

At the end of the first beginning of the second day there are small, itchy rash, which in a few hours covers almost the entire body. An important sign of scarlet fever — a rash in the form of condensation dark red bands on the skin folds in places of natural folds — in the inguinal folds, armpits, elbow bends. At the touch of the skin is very dry and resembles sandpaper.

If you look into the patient's mouth, you can see bright red inflamed mucous, pus on the tonsils raids and strawberry tongue with a sharp increase in papillae. This state is characterized by the expression of the throat doctors' flaming mouth. "

On the face rash located on the cheeks, to a lesser extent — on the forehead and temples, while the nasolabial triangle is pale and free from elements of the rash (a characteristic symptom of scarlet fever).

Through 3-5 days, the skin turns white and starts peeling strong, especially pronounced on the palms of child: skin removed from them as gloves.


  • swelling (lymph nodes);
  • suppurative otitis media (ear infection);
  • allergic kidney disease — glomerulonephritis,
  • inflammation of the joints — arthritis, synovitis;
  • heart disease — allergic myocarditis;
  • pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs).

The likelihood of complications is significantly reduced when taking a full course of antibiotics.

Recovering from scarlet fever persists, usually life-long immunity. However, re-infestation of scarlet fever still occur. Doctors believe that this wine is too active treatment — the disease is neutralized so quickly that immunity does not have time to form.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis is based on the data of the contact with the sick with scarlet fever, sore throat, in the presence of a characteristic rash and throat lesions.

Treatment is usually carried out at home. Children with severe and complicated forms of scarlet fever are hospitalized.

During 7-10 days of bed rest must be observed. To suppress the growth of streptococcus used antibiotics 10-day course. In addition, prescribed gargling solution furatsillina, infusions of chamomile, calendula, eucalyptus. Also apply anti-allergic agents, vitamins.

The prognosis is favorable.

After recovery is necessary to closely monitor the health of the child, the color of urine (urine in glomerulonephritis colors become "meat slops", which is associated with the release of the blood), pay attention to the appearance of pain in the joints. This will allow time to identify and treat complications of scarlet fever.


Children who have been in contact with the patient and previously healthy scarlet fever, are allowed in pre-school or in the first two classes of the school after a seven-day isolation at home. The apartment where the sick, conduct regular wet cleaning, room ventilation.

There is no vaccine for scarlet fever.

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