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Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever Scarlet fever is an acute infectious disease that occurs mainly among young children( up to 10 years old).Before the mass use of penicillin antibiotics, people were very afraid of this disease, as it caused the development of serious complications and even death.Today, against the backdrop of drug therapy and proper care of the child, the serious consequences of the ailment are extremely rare.However, it should be emphasized that this is due to the appointment of antibiotics, no local treatment and folk methods can completely overcome scarlet fever.

Scarlet fever: causes of scarlet fever. Prevention

Scarlet fever: causes

The causative agent of scarlet fever is a hemolytic streptococcus of group A , which after settling on the mucous throat of a person begins to release a very toxic substance - erythroxine.Because of this toxin entering the blood and spreading throughout the body, the main symptoms of the disease appear( rash, intoxication, etc.).


You can be infected with hemolytic streptococcus from a patient with scarlet fever or sore throat, as well as from carriers of this pathogenic microorganism.

The contagious period with scarlet fever starts in the first days of the disease and lasts for several weeks, it is at this time that sick children should be isolated from healthy children.With carriers, the situation is more complicated, because it is difficult to identify them, and they can be a source of streptococcal infection without any obstacles for a long time.

The main way of scarlet fever infection is airborne .That is, children can get sick after inhaling droplets of thawed or sucked mucus from the airway of the patient and the carrier.Much less often there are cases of scarlet fever infection with direct contact with the patient, when using shared dishes, toys, etc.

Scarlet fever: symptoms

The incubation period for scarlet fever lasts from 2 to 7 days .The first symptoms of an illness can have different severity - it all depends on what form of the disease has developed. In general, these forms are distinguished by several:

  • Scarlet fever: symptoms Typical forms of scarlet fever: light, medium, heavy.
  • Atypical forms: erased( flowing without specific symptoms, for example, without rash, or with mild signs of disease), hypertoxic( extremely severe, but extremely rare form of the disease, in which even a coma may develop), hemorrhagic( with hemorrhagesIn the skin and internal organs), ekstrafaringealnuyu in which the entrance gate of the infection is not zev, and damaged skin or mucous membranes.

The main symptoms of typical scarlet fever in children:

  • Rash . It appears in the first days of the disease and looks like this: on the red background of the inflamed skin, more red chalk marks are formed which, when pressed, disappear.The rash spreads throughout the body, but the "favorite" places of its localization are the cheeks( without touching the nasolabial triangle), folds, limb flexions, natural folds( under the arms, under the knees, etc.).Skin in patients with scarlet fever is very rough and feels like sandpaper.
  • Angina( inflammation of the palatine tonsils).The posterior wall of the pharynx may also be inflamed.About the throat of patients with scarlet fever they say - "glowing pharynx".
  • The "crimson" language . It reminds raspberry because of its characteristic color and enlarged papillae.
  • Skin peeling , which appears after the disappearance of the rash.On the palms and feet, the skin is covered with layers.

In addition to the described signs in scarlet fever, body temperature rises, nausea, weakness and other symptoms of intoxication appear.

Complications of

Complications of scarlet fever are early and late.The emergence of early consequences of the disease is associated with the spread of infection throughout the body and the influence of erythroxin on internal organs. Under the influence of these factors in patients may occur :

  • Purulent otitis media.
  • Sinusitis.
  • Lymphadenitis.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Inflammation of the kidneys.
  • Myocarditis
  • Parathonsillar abscess( purulent process in fatty tissue around the tonsils).

In turn, late complications develop on average 3-5 weeks as a result of a hyperactive allergic reaction of the immune system to streptococci, which contain protein substances in a structure very similar to substances found in some tissues( in the heart, joints). Because of this, re-infection of a newly infected child with streptococcus or the continued presence of the pathogen in the body can trigger a hyperimmune reaction and the development of serious complications:

  • Rheumatism with damage to the valves of the heart and joints.
  • Glomerulonephritis( specific kidney damage).
  • Chorei( diseases of the brain).

Treatment of scarlet fever

Light forms of scarlet fever are treated at home, heavy - in the hospital.And in one case, and in another case, patients are prescribed antibiotics penicillin series, if there is intolerance to these drugs - antibacterial agents of another group.The duration of the course of therapy is determined by the doctor individually, but on average it is 10 days.A day after the start of treatment, the child's condition improves noticeably, but antibiotic therapy must necessarily be completed.

Treatment of scarlet fever In addition to antibiotic therapy, treatment of scarlet fever in children includes:

  • Bed rest.
  • Diet( food should be warm, not hard, preference should be given to vegetables and fruits), abundant drink, which is necessary to reduce intoxication.
  • Medical symptomatic therapy - antipyretic drugs, antiallergic drugs and other means.
  • Local treatment - sucking tablets and sprays with analgesic and antiseptic action, gargling with solutions of furacilin, soda, decoctions of medicinal herbs.

You can resume the visit to the garden or school for babies who have had scarlet fever no earlier than three weeks after the onset of the illness, even if the patient's health improves much earlier.Such a measure is not so much aimed at preventing the infection of other children( after 10 days of taking antibiotics, the causative agent, as a rule, no longer stands out), but rather on the fence of the sick child from repeated contact with streptococci.Until the body finally recovers from the disease, and all immune processes do not return to normal, each such contact can lead to the development of an allergic reaction and, accordingly, the occurrence of late complications of the disease.

Immunity after the transfer of scarlet fever is not always formed stable, which, according to doctors, may be associated with the early onset of antibiotic therapy( however, this measure is extremely necessary to prevent the negative consequences of the disease).That is, a child can get sick repeatedly, but the disease in this case will be easier.

The symptoms and principles of treating scarlet fever in children in this video review are described by Dr. Komarovsky:


There are no vaccines for scarlet fever.Therefore, children can be protected from this infection only by increasing general and local immunity by common methods:

  • Complete nutrition.
  • Filling.
  • Clean and optimum humidity in the house.Asd65ASD
  • Walking in the open air.
  • If necessary, the intake of vitamin preparations and plant immunostimulants.
  • Doing sports.
  • Sanitation of chronic infectious foci in the body( treatment of caries, chronic tonsillitis, adenoids).


In addition, it is necessary to teach the child to observe the rules of hygiene - frequent washing of hands, the use of their dishes, etc.

In the kindergarten or school visited by the patient, contact persons are supervised and quarantined in the group or class for 7 days.In the collective, the patient is admitted only 12 days after complete recovery( at least 22 days after the onset of the disease).

Zubkova Olga Sergeevna, medical reviewer, epidemiologist doctor

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