Scarlet fever or scarlatina is on the rise. Or rather, a bacteria or infection in those who develop strep throat is. This infection is marked by a bright red rash that spreads over the body, high fever, and a sore throat.
Scarlet fever mostly affects kids from ages 5-15. There were 735 cases reported the week of January 28, according to Public Health England. This is the largest outbreak since April of last year.
Though great strides have been made with antibiotics to combat strep throat and scarlet fever, this bacteria, (streptococcus), is still adapting and evolving. It releases toxins in the body that cause scarlet fever to develop. This then brings on the rash to break out on the face, chest, back, and neck. The rashes peel about six days after showing up. They resemble a sunburn.
‘Some common symptoms for scarlet fever include red rashes, sore throat, itchy skin, abdominal pain, flushed face, high fever, strawberry tongue (marked with white dots on the tongue,) chills, swollen tonsils, the pale skin around the lips and swollen neck glands.’
It’s contagious, so be sure to keep you and your children quarantined. Don’t share food or drinks with anyone who has strep throat. It can be spread through sneezing or coughing.
Aspirin or ibuprofen may be prescribed to control the fever. Your doctor also might suggest other medication to sooth the sore throat; however ice cream or warm soup work just as well. Gargling salt water and using a cool humidifier can help too. Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently to prevent the spread of germs. Don’t share glasses or cups and other eating utensils as the bacteria can spread this way.