Scarlet fever commonly occurs in children who are from 2 to 10 years of age. This infection is caused by the streptococcus bacteria. It is the same bacteria that cause strep throat infection. As a result, the symptoms of scarlet fever are quite akin to a strep throat infection. The only difference is that when a child is struck by scarlet fever, he or she will develop characteristic red rashes on tongue and all over the body.
The symptoms of scarlet fever develop usually within a week in children. The child may come down with very high fever and complain of throat ache. They may also have headaches, vomiting and pain in the abdomen along with the fever. However, the most distinguishing symptoms are the strawberry shaped rash on the tongue and red patches on skin on the neck, face and stomach.
Children usually seem to weaken with the onset of scarlet fever. The doctor will diagnose the child by examining the rashes and taking a swab test of the throat. If the swab reveals the presence of streptococcus bacteria, then the scarlet fever is confirmed. The doctor would start the patient immediately on antibiotics.
Children are usually given two to three dosages of antibiotics in a single day. The dosage may last for a week. Usually with the help of antibiotics the scarlet fever goes away within a week. Symptoms like sore throat and fever may last for two to three days. However other symptoms like pain and nausea may go away immediately. The rashes, which feel like sandpaper, usually go away within a week or ten days.
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