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Scarlet Fever

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 22, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Scarlet Fever


It is kind of illness which can easily occur in children. Scarlet fever is caused by Group ‘A’ streptococcus virus. It is communicable disease and can easily transfer from one person to another. In the early stages the child develops high fever and red rash on one or more parts of the body.
Before, this kind of illness was extremely feared and fatal. It was untreatable. But now, many treatments are available and children can be completely cured from this illness.

Another distinctive characteristic of this fever is that it makes the tongue swollen and red which may remain like that for few days. It is also commonly accompanied by sore throat. Scarlet fever is usually confused with rheumatic fever. Though it is not same but later on it can proceed to rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is infact more complicate to treat and may leave permanent effects.


It is caused by infection from Group ‘A’ streptococcus virus, which is also responsible for other types of common problems like strep throat, tonsils and impetigo. The virus is easily communicable and the infection can easily spread from one person to another by contact. Also a person can get this infection by inhaling air containing this virus.

A child who is suffering from rash, high fever and strep throat should be immediately taken to a doctor for diagnosis of scarlet fever. The rash has to be examined to eliminate the possibility of other types of common childhood problems like measles or rubella. The doctor usually takes a swab from throat to confirm this infection.

Signs and Symptoms

The distinguishing feature of scarlet fever from others is the appearance of red rash which is usually fine with an appearance of sand paper. After about 12 to 24 hours of onset of fever, this rash develops. In the starting it looks like a severe sunburn but later develops itching. After staying for few days the rash starts to dry out and become scaly. This rash very frequently develops on chest in the infected children. The other parts where it can also occur are arm pit or behind the ears. When it appears on the cheek it gives a look of slapped cheek to the infected child.

The other commonly appearing symptoms of scarlet fever are high fever, sore throat, and increased tiredness, loss of appetite, headache and nausea. Also appearance of swollen tongue is a common sign. The tongue becomes red with small red spots usually referred to as strawberry tongue.

Treatment Options

First and foremost any child showing the above mentioned symptom of scarlet fever should be immediately taken to the doctor. Timely diagnosis and treatment will prevent the fever from changing into any other complicated illness like rheumatic fever, meningitis or kidney disease.

The doctor usually prescribes antibiotic of penicillin or erythromycin. These have side effects so should be carefully administered. Also adequate rest and proper diets with lots of fluid is essential for a speedy recovery.

Holistic Treatments

Though immediate treatment of this problem is essential by allopathic options but children can be given natural and homeopathicremedies to boost the immune system. Herbs like Echinacea purpurea, Astragalusmembranaceous, Inulahelenium and Withania have antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties and also boost the immune system. Herbs likeMeadowsweet and Yarrow can control the fever associated with this illness.

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Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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