Before you get the answer to this question, the first thing you should know first is: What is scarlet fever? It is an infection that is common for those with sore throat. It usually starts with a rash from your body then eventually leads to a high fever.
The common patients of this sickness are children whose age are between 5 and 15. Although scarlet fever is considered as a life-threatening disorder before, it can be treated now with antibiotics. But this does not mean that you should be complacent that you will not have this condition. Anyone can have scarlet fever, even adults.
But how? And how will you know that you already have this fever? Find out here.
Scarlet Fever Causes
The main cause of this ailment is group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus or S. pyogenes. It is also the same bacteria that can cause strep throat.
In most cases, the bacteria enters the body through the mouth and nose. You can get these harmful bacteria when the person with scarlet fever sneezes or coughs. The possibility of getting this disease is also possible when you have a physical contact with someone who has a streptococcal skin infection. Any contact or sharing of personal necessities such as towels and bed linens can already spread the virus in your body.
Another way is through drinking or eating contaminated food. But this scenario rather happens
rarely. In addition, the virus can spread from two to five days until you can feel or see the symptoms.
Scarlet Fever Symptoms
One way for the doctor to know if you do have this disorder is by checking the signs. Here are the possible symptoms that will appear if you have scarlet fever:
- A red sore throat. Those with yellow or white patches can be considered as signs as well.
- Rashes all over your body
- High fever
- Red blotches that you might mistake as sunburns. Another distinction would be the skin is rough just like the sandpaper.
- The cheeks are flushed and the mouth is pale.
- Having difficulty in swallowing
- Not feeling well
- Swollen neck glands
- Broken blood vessels
- White coating on the tongue
There are instances when most of the symptoms are gone and the only one left is the rashes. Meanwhile, if you experience signs like diarrhea, vomiting, or severe muscle aches, you should go to the doctor.
If you fail to get yourself treated, you might experience the following complications:
- Skin infections
- Ear infections
- Rheumatic fever
- Inflammation of the kidneys
- Throat abscess
- Toxic shock syndrome
- Infection of the bone marrow
- Acute kidney failure
- Necrotizing fasciitis
Once the doctor has checked the symptoms, he will then require you to check your tonsils,
tongue, and throat. Afterward, he will get a sample of your throat cells for further examinations. A rapid throat swap exam can be conducted as well.
Scarlet Fever Treatment
If you are lucky, you just have to wait for a week before the disorder is gone. But even if this is possible, one should still seek for a treatment once the doctor diagnoses that you have scarlet fever. Undergoing treatment can also lessen the risk of you having complications.
One of the first cures that you can do is by taking prescribed medications like penicillin. By taking this drug, your fever can go down within 12 to 24 hours. You need to continue taking this medication even after four to five days to make sure that the fever is entirely gone and that you will not have to suffer from post-step disorders.
Take note that if the medicine did not have an effect even after 48 hours, you need to go to your doctor. But if the medicine already started kicking in, you should still stay at home and rest.
While resting, you can do other relieving strategies like drinking loads of water. Even if you do not have the appetite to do so. Alternatives such as broth-based soups and warm teas can do the trick as well. If you have a hard time swallowing hard food, you can eat soft food or have a liquid diet until the fever is gone.
Make sure that you are resting in a cool place too. There are also other ways to relieve the pain and fever like Tylenol. For itching, you can use calamine lotion.
Even better, you can stay away from pollution and smoke. With that being sad, if you are a smoker, it is not advisable that you smoke during this time. You can also stop throat irritation by humidifying the air and gargling with salt water.
Scarlet Fever Prevention
There are also ways you can do to prevent the spreading of the bacteria if you already have one.
- Do not go to work for a while or stay away from people
- Cover your mouth whenever you sneeze or a cough
- Wash used handkerchiefs or throw away used tissues immediately
- Do not share utensils and other personal items
- Frequent handwashing
Although scarlet fever is contagious, there are a lot of ways you can do to treat this sickness and even prevent it from spreading. It is also good that you maintain a healthy diet and take enough vitamins to protect yourself from getting the bacteria easily.
Scarlet fever is a common ailment that is easily passed on from one person to another. Even if the condition is common for children, scarlet fever on adults is also possible. This is why you have to make sure that when the signs of this sickness appear, you immediately go to your doctor to get the prescribed medicines.
Do not be complacent and wait for the disorder to cure by itself because there are instances when this simple fever can lead to complications such as acute kidney failure. Always seek the opinion of your doctor when needed. Until then, be responsible enough to make sure that you do not share personal items with other people and practice a good hygiene to avoid this disease.