Scarlet fever,also known as scarlatina, is an infection that can develop in people who have strep throat. It mainly affects children but adults also. It is characterised by a bright red rash on the body, usually accompanied by a high fever and sore throat.
Main Symptom –
• Strep throat rash – A rash is the most common sign of scarlet fever in most children but adults also. It usually begins as a red blotchy rash and becomes fine and rough like sand paper. The scarlet colored rash is what gives it this name. The rash can begin upto 2-3 day before a person feel ill or upto 7 days after.
The rash typically begins on the neck, groin and under the arms.It then spreads to the rest of the body. After the rash has subsided, about 7 days, the skin on the tips of the fingers and toes and in the groin may peel.This can last for several weeks.
Other Symptoms –
• Broken blood vessels seems like red creases in the armpits, elbows and knees makes Pastia’s lines.
• Strawberry tongue or white tongue with red dots on the surface
• Red, sore throat with white or yellow patches
• Flushed face
• Fever above 101°F
• Swollen tonsils
• Pale skin around the lips
• Nausea and vomitting
• Swollen glands along the neck
• Abdominal Pain
Scarlet fever is caused by a toxin released by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, the same organism that causes strep throat.
The infection spreads from person to person via droplets expelled when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The incubation period – the time between exposure and illness – is usually 2-4 days.
Risk Factors –
Children 5-15 years of age are more likely than other people to get scarlet fever. Scarlet fever germs spread more easily among people in close contact, such as family members or classmates.
If scarlet fever goes untreated, the bacteria may spread to the –
• Middle ear
Rarely, scarlet fever can lead to rheumatic fever that can affect the –
• Nervous system
Scarlet fever can be diagnosed by following ways –
• Physical examination
• Rapid throat swab test
Scarlet fever is treated with antibiotics. Make sure that your child and you complete the entire course of the prescribed medication. This will help prevent the infection from causing complications or continuing further.
You can give certain over the counter(OTC) medications, such as acetaminophen, for fever and pain. Adults may use acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Aspirin should never be used at any age during an illness with fever due to the increased risk of developing Reye’s syndrome.
Your child’s doctor might also prescribe other medication to help ease the pain of a sore throat.
Other remedies include-
• Eating icepops, ice cream or warm soup
• Gargling with salt water
• Using a cool air humidifier
can also decrease the severity and pain of a sore throat.
It is also important that your child drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
There’s currently no vaccine for scarlet fever.
As there is no vaccine to prevent scarlet fever, the best prevention strategies for scarlet fever are the same as the standard precautions against infections –
• Wash your hands properly especially before having meal and after come out of toilet.
• Don’t share dining utensils or food
• Cover your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing
Ayurvedic Perspective –
Ayurvedic treatments are based on doshas and prakriti of our body so giving names to disease is not necessary all the time.Inflammation, pain, redness in the strep throat indicates the involvement of pitta, whereas the dryness and burning sensation sometimes seen in strep throat indicate that pitta and vata are acting together.
• For throat application paste of-
• For gargle –
• For chewing –
• Sanjeevni Vati
• Mahalaxmivilas Ras
• Mahasudarshan Churna
• Mulethi Churna
• Ras Manikya
• Giloy Sat
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