Friday, 19 May 2017

Scarlet Fever Warning

Scarlet Fever Warning

Seeing this article really made me very uncomfortable.  This not good news and it is hoped that Scarlet Fever can be eradicated sharpishly.

 Scarlet Fever is Back and Every Parent Needs to Watch Out for These Warning Signs

Scarlet fever is an infection of Streptococcus A bacteria and accompanies “strep throat”. Its incidence has reduced drastically over the last 100 years due to the use of antibiotics to combat the infection. However, some countries have recently experienced a resurgence. (1) It’s not yet understood why this is the case.(2)

Even so, worldwide, scarlet fever is a relatively rare condition, affecting less than 10% of those with strep throat. (3)

Scarlet Fever Symptoms

Scarlet fever can occur when the bacteria secrete a particular toxin to which the affected person is sensitive. It occurs mostly in children aged 5-15 and manifests with specific symptoms.
They include (4):
  • Fever over 101°F
  • Red rash (hence the term “scarlet fever”) developing on the face, chest, abdomen, and back and spreading to other parts of the body. Skin looks like it’s sunburned and is rough and scratchy. However, the skin around the mouth retains normal coloration. Skin will start to peel about a week after the rash appears.
  • A sore throat with white and yellow patches
  • Swollen tonsils and/or other glands
  • White tongue with red spots (“strawberry tongue”)
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
  • Headaches, chills
Scarlet fever can be dangerous if left untreated, as the infection can cause long-term health effects such as (5):
  • Rheumatic fever (an inflammatory disease that can affect the heart, joints, skin, and brain)
  • Kidney disease (inflammation of the kidneys, called post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis)
  • Otitis media (ear infection)
  • Skin infections
  • Abscesses (pockets of pus) of the throat
  • Pneumonia (lung infection)
  • Arthritis (joint inflammation)

Preventing Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever is a highly contagious infection. Exposure to anything that the infected person has touched, coughed or sneezed on puts you at risk for contracting the infection.
Common sense efforts to reduce the risk apply:
  • Hand washing with soap and water, especially after blowing the nose and before eating.
  • Keep contaminated implements like toothbrushes, cups, and toys quarantined from the rest of the family.
  • No skin-to-skin contact with someone who has scarlet fever or strep throat.
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