Scarlet fever is a type of infection caused by bacteria. The bacteria responsible is the streptococcus bacteria. There are many streaks of this bacterium, and in scarlet fever, the particular streak of the bacteria releases a toxin which ends up giving a characteristic rash.
A person, who gets scarlet fever once, is unlikely to develop it again as the body develops a resistance to this type of toxin. Some people may naturally have the resistance for these bacteria, so they may never get scarlet fever. However, it is considered to be an extremely contagious bacterial infection.
The incubation period for this bacterium is about one to three days after which the onset of fever takes place. The symptoms of the fever are red rashes on the neck, back, chest, armpits and groin; high fever; sore throat; body pains; abdominal pain; vomiting and nausea. Some children also experience severe headaches.
Anyone can develop a scarlet fever. However, children between the ages of 2 and 10 are most susceptible to this fever. That is probably because they have not yet developed a resistance to this streak of bacteria.
Scarlet fever is easily treated with the help of antibiotics. The doctors typically diagnose the condition by taking a swab test of the throat and examining the culture. If the presence of streptococcus bacteria is confirmed and the rashes are also present, then the treatment is immediately started. There are not many complications of scarlet fever and usually the infection goes away within a week. However, if the infection is not treated, it can complicate matters and lead to rheumatic fever.
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