Health is an issue that parents always have in mind. It is therefore important to be aware of the most common teething problems in order to avoid them and treat them in good time.
Scarlet fever in children is one of these common diseases.
What is scarlet fever??
Scarlet fever is an infection caused by a streptococcal group A bacterium. This germ is able to produce a poison to which certain people are sensitive.
It is important to remember that not all Group A streptococci produce toxins. In addition, not everyone is sensitive to the effects.
Scarlet fever most often occurs in children between 4 and 8 years of age and rarely occurs in children under 2 years of age.
Causes of scarlet fever
Type A streptococci tend to infect mucous membranes. They are most commonly transmitted through small drops in saliva. This releases them into the environment when someone coughs or sneezes.
It is possible to get scarlet fever in other ways, but these cases are significantly less common. examples for this are under-washed food, toys, or objects that a child puts in their mouth. The bacteria can also be transmitted through pus, but only a few cases have been documented.
Scarlet fever has an incubation period of 1 to 3 days. Incubation is the time between the time of infection and the appearance of the first symptoms. During this time, children can infect other people.
School is one of the most common places where children get scarlet fever. The infection is particularly contagious during the winter season.
Symptoms of scarlet fever in children
There are two phases. In the early stages, there are some warning signs that can be quickly mistaken for tonsillitis. Because the symptoms are very similar.
This phase is often characterized by a high fever that appears suddenly. In connection with the fever, children can have a sore throat and headache.
Vomiting is not common, but it can also happen. In addition, some people suffer from abdominal pain and exhaustion.
A rash appears in the second phase. This is the most characteristic feature of scarlet fever that has given the infection its name.
The rash initially appears as a (scarlet) flush on the face and neck of the child. Then the rash stretches further down over the rest of the body.
The scarlet rash can initially look like sunburn. However, if you with a If you press your finger on it, the skin loses its red color. Later, the skin remains reddish with tiny spots.
Another important characteristic of scarlet fever is that the rash affects the elbows, the back of the knees and the armpits. In addition, the rash tends to show up around wrinkles on the skin.
Generally, the rash does not affect the area between the nose and mouth. Along with the rash the tongue may take on a deep red color, and the glands in the neck are swollen.
About 5 days after the rash first appears, it begins to fade. After this time, the skin affected by the rash peels like a sunburn. It can take up to 8 weeks for the skin to return to normal.
How to recognize and treat scarlet fever?
In addition to the visible symptoms a saliva sample is the most effective way to Scarlet fever to recognize and rule out other diseases. Scarlet fever is recognized immediately by a laboratory analysis.
In any case, it is important to keep children away from people who have or might have scarlet fever. This is the only way to prevent the bacteria from spreading.
Scarlet fever is with antibiotics treated. It takes at least 6 days.
Scarlet fever in children is usually not serious and occurs less and less. With proper treatment, scarlet fever should not be something parents need to worry about.
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