Scarlet fever is also known as scarlatina and scarlet rash. It is more common among children than adults. It usually occurs in early fall, winter and in spring. Scarlet fever is not a new disease, and has been present for several thousands of years.
Nobody is sure of the beginnings of it. It occurs due to a bacterium called streptococcus, which is one of the ancient bacteria. So, the fever might have been present for a very long time.
Sydenham was the first person who studied the fever and the bacteria's properties. He segregated the fever from other rash causing diseases like measles. In the early days, Italian writers used the word called Scarlatina to refer to a type of fever. However, it is not clear if they were referring to scarlet fever. Scarlet means red, and any rash typically appearing on the skin is red in color. And, there are many diseases that cause a rash.
Sydenham identified scarlet fever in 1685 and ever since doctors and parents have known about the presence of this fever.
The cure for scarlet fever only came when penicillin was discovered. Before that it was possible that people used herbs and other natural remedies to control the spread of the bacteria. Since the bacterial diseases were most likely to occur in children, it also increased the fatality during early days, before antibiotics were invented. Streptococcus bacteria were very difficult to fight without the help of antibiotics in the olden days. So scarlet fever was a feared disease then. However, after the bacteria were isolated in the 19th century, effective medications in the form of antibiotics have been found. Today, scarlet fever is not considered dangerous at all.
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