Scarlet fever is a fairly common disease of an infectious origin. Statistics confirm that children are most vulnerable to this ailment. That's why many parents are interested in questions about what is scarlet fever, what are its causes and symptoms.
What is scarlet fever? Causes of the disease
As already mentioned, this is an infectious disease. In this case, the causative agent is beta-hemolytic streptococcus - gram-positive bacteria of oval or spherical shape. Pathogenic microorganisms are transmitted exclusively through the air. But, on the other hand, pathogenic cocci can only be transported over short distances, so close contact with the infected person is necessary for infection.
After the transferred disease, the organism acquires a permanent immunity to this type of infection, although repeated infection is possible.
What is scarlet fever and what are its symptoms?
In most cases, the incubation period lasts from two days to a week. The first symptoms of an organism's intoxication are a sharp increase in temperature, weakness, dizziness. In some cases, nausea and vomiting occur.
In the future, patients complain of a sore throat, which is worse when talking or swallowing. A few hours after the appearance of the first signs, the skin of the trunk, limbs and face is covered with a pink rash, an exception is only the nasolabial triangle, which retains a characteristic pale shade. In some cases, the body can be seen blistering rashes with a clear or cloudy content. Skin lesions are accompanied by a palpable itch.
One of the characteristic symptoms of the disease is angina - patients suffer from severe pain in the throat. And if at the beginning of the disease the tongue was covered with a dense white coating, then in the future it acquires a characteristic crimson shade - this is also a specific symptom of the disease.
After 3 - 7 days the rash begins to disappear by itself, leaving no traces on the skin. But quite often the affected areas of the skin begin to peel off.
Scarlet fever: consequences and complications
In fact, some forms of scarlet fever are fraught with dangerous complications. At the first stages, the disease can be accompanied by purulent sore throat, inflammation of the nasal sinuses or middle ear. In some cases, toxic damage to the heart, as a result of which there is a rapid increase in the volume of the heart muscle. Occasionally scarlet fever can be complicated by purulent lesions of the liver and kidneys.
The most dangerous complications include rheumatism, damage to the heart valves, and occasionally hemorrhages to the brain.
How to treat scarlet fever?
Immediately it is worth noting that when the first symptoms appear it is necessary to call a doctor. Only a specialist knows what scarlet fever is and what kind of treatment is needed in this or that case. And if the mild forms of infectious disease are treated at home, then in more severe cases the patient needs hospitalization.
Because the cause is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are used for treatment. Penicillin-type substances are very effective, in particular, Amoxicillin, Amoxiclav, Retarpen. It is necessary to take vitamins, and sometimes use immunomodulators. At the time of treatment, the patient is shown a strict bed rest and a plentiful drink.