Scarlet fever – the well-known childhood disease
Scarlet fever is a contagious infectious disease. It occurs mainly in children 3 – 9 years of age. But adults are also affected by the disease.
The disease scarlet fever is caused by the bacteria streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes) triggered. These put on the mucous membranes of the affected persons. Streptococcus is transmitted by droplet infection. This can be through coughing, sneezing or normal talking.
What are typical symptoms?
The typical symptoms of scarlet fever are fever, swelling, chills and sore throat. However, the symptoms are not the same for every person.
As the disease progresses, a skin rash (Exanthem), which usually starts on the chest and spreads over the whole body. In contrast to other rashes this one does not itch.
One of the surest symptoms of scarlet fever is the so-called raspberry tongue. Here, the tongue of the affected person turns reddish with white deposits in the middle.
Treatment of scarlet fever
The treatment of scarlet fever must necessarily be carried out by a doctor. This prescribes antibiotics so that the disease can be successfully controlled. Penicillin is usually used for this purpose.
If the patient is allergic to it, alternatives can also be used. The duration of the treatment amounts to approx. 10 – 14 days. In rare cases also longer.
Under no circumstances should treatment be stopped prematurely. This prevents proper healing and further infection is very likely to occur. If treatment is not given properly or is stopped prematurely, serious consequences can result.
A known complication is the inflammation of the renal corpuscles. Streptococci are transported through the blood to the kidneys, where they cause inflammation. Blood poisoning is possible if the wrong treatment or. also possible in case of abortion.
When treating scarlet fever, bed rest should be observed for the first few days so that the body is not further weakened. Not only the disease itself, but also its symptoms should be treated.
Medication (z.B. Paracetamol) help to reduce the fever. Gargling chamomile tea and lozenges help with a sore throat. In addition, a lot of liquid should be consumed, 2 – 3 liters of preferably water are sufficient.
Scarlet fever – a highly contagious disease
Scarlet fever is a highly contagious disease and should be treated as such. Infected people should be kept away from large crowds such as z.B. Staying away from kindergartens, schools or universities to prevent other people from becoming infected with scarlet fever.
Very good hygiene should be observed in the household. One should z.B. it is better to use paper towels for drying and then dispose of them in a trash can with a lid.
Good to know:
Babies up to 6 months of age are automatically protected against the pathogens because they have the mother’s antibodies. From 6 months, however, they can be infected with scarlet fever.
Once you have survived the disease, you are usually immune to it. However, a second infection cannot be ruled out if one is infected by another group of bacteria.