Friday, July 8, 2011
Recently reported in Hongkong and Macau
What causes scarlet fever?
Scarlet fever is caused by streptococcal (strep) bacteria, the same bacteria that cause strep throat. There are many different strains of strep bacteria, some of which cause more serious illness than others. The type of strep that infects the throat and causes scarlet fever is called group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of scarlet fever are the same as the symptoms of strep throat (except for the rash). If you or your child has the symptons below, call your doctor. Symptoms include:
- Fever of 101 degrees Farenheit or higher
- Sore throat and difficulty swallowing
- White or yellow spots or coating on the throat and tonsils
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Other symptoms that appear before the rash, especially in children, may include general body aches, headache, stomachache, nausea, vomiting, or listleness. Scarlet fever usually doesn't occur with cold symptoms, such as sneezing, runny or snuffy nose, or cough.