DefinitionScarlet fever is an infection which produces a sore throat , fever, and a specific rash.
|Sore Throat Due to Inflammation|
|© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.|
CausesScarlet fever is caused by specific bacteria. The bacteria produces a toxin that causes a rash. Scarlet fever usually develops in conjunction with strep throat .
Risk FactorsFactors that increase your risk of getting scarlet fever include:
- Untreated strep infection
- Close contact with someone who has an untreated strep infection
- Overcrowded conditions, such as a school or daycare
SymptomsSymptoms may include:
- High fever
- Specific, spreading rash that feels like sand paper
- Flushing in the face with paleness around the mouth
- Red streaks, called Pastia's lines, on elbows, underarms, and body creases
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Pain in the abdomen
- Bright red tongue
- Body aches
- Rheumatic fever
- Kidney damage
- Spread of the infection to other areas such as the ears, sinuses, or lungs
- Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome
- Local abscess
DiagnosisYou will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may diagnose scarlet fever by the specific rash. Confirmation of scarlet fever can be done with a throat swab or rapid strep antigen detection test.
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