Scarlet fever symptoms and treatment

Scarlet fever is one of the typical childhood diseases. Leads to a raspberry-colored tongue, among other symptoms. Kindergarten-. Primary school age occurs. But adults can also get scarlet fever. It is caused by Streptococcal infection, especially the bacterial species Streptococcus pyogenes often plays a role. The pathogens attack the mucous membranes and secrete toxins that contribute to the typical symptoms, such as sore throat and skin rash.

At a glance: Typical symptoms of scarlet fever

– Sore throat – difficulty swallowing – headache – reddish discoloration of the palate and throat – raspberry-colored coating on the tongue – skin rash

Sore throat, redness of the tongue and throat, and skin rash are typical signs of scarlet fever

Scarlet fever manifests itself in very typical symptoms, which are more or less pronounced, but can also run completely symptom-free. First signs of scarlet fever are

– Difficulty swallowing and .

Throat and palate are often discolored red, while the tongue first shows a white coating and later appears raspberry-colored (Raspberry Tongue). Scarlet fever always accompanies Tonsillitis accompanied by Lymph node swellings on the lower jaw and throat, chills and fever. Some sufferers also complain of nausea and abdominal pain.

After one to two days, a non-itchy rash usually forms, spreading from the armpits over the entire body. The cheeks are often reddened. The rash lasts for about a week, then there may be peeling of the skin.

Things to know: pathogens with sophisticated properties

The main pathogens of scarlet fever, Streptococcus pyogenes, can cause a wide variety of infectious diseases, such as tonsillitis. Since the streptococci inside their various viruses, so-called bacteriophages, they acquire, among other things, the ability to produce toxins specific to scarlet fever and thus cause the disease scarlet fever (and not a "normal" tonsillitis). These toxins spread through the skin of the infected person, triggering the typical rash from.

Consistent antibiotic therapy is the most effective treatment for scarlet fever

The symptoms of scarlet fever usually give a first indication of the disease. To determine streptococci with certainty, detection can be done by bacterial culture. For this, a swab of the tonsils is taken. The pathogens are examined in the laboratory.

A treatment is carried out by a ten-day Taking antibiotics, usually penicillin. It is particularly important to take the medication consistently and over the entire period to avoid serious complications and late effects of the disease. These include toxic shock syndrome or rheumatic endocarditis (inflammation of the inner lining of the heart).

Not only the disease itself, but also the symptoms of scarlet fever can be alleviated by suitable medicines. Typically, fever-reducing. Sore throat remedies to be used.

Avoid infection with scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is highly contagious. Via droplet or contact infection infected persons can transmit the pathogens for up to three weeks. The incubation period from infection to the outbreak of the disease is one to three days. Since one can be immune to the respective pathogen for a certain period of time after overcoming an infection, many infected persons act as carriers of the disease without suffering any symptoms themselves.

To avoid the unnecessary spread of the scarlet fever pathogens, it is important to in case of illness avoid contact with other persons and observe hygienic measures:

– bed rest – keep your distance – wash your hands regularly

Sick children are not allowed to attend kindergarten or school. The same applies to ill employees of care facilities.

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