Scarlet fever, also known as scarlatina, is a syndrome that is characterized by fever, exudative pharyngitis, and bright-red exanthem.
List Of 31 Interesting Facts About Scarlatina (Scarlet Fever):
#1 It was a serious, life-threatening disease for children during the 19th century and resulted in pandemics with significant mortality rates. The advent of antibiotics in the mid-20th century made scarlatina less deadly.
#2 Scarlatina could lead to a number of deadly medical problems, such as:
- kidney damage;
- liver damage;
- rheumatic fever;
- infected sores.
#3 Some scientists attest that descriptions of disease that match scarlatina date back almost 2,500 years, to Hippocrates.
#4 Others researchers said that the 1st person to positively identify scarlatina was Rhazes, a Persian philosopher and physician, who lived in the 9th century CE.
#5 John Rockefeller, an American oil industry business magnate, philanthropist, and industrialist, lost a two-year-old grandson to scarlatina, which is why Rockefeller University, even in the present day, remains one of the world’s leading biomedical research centers worldwide.
#6 It is much more common in children than in adults, and it usually affects 5- to 12-year-old children.
#7 As of 2014, there is a sharp uptick in scarlatina cases in Wales and England, according to a paper issued in the Lancet Journal of Infectious Diseases. Also, this trend continues to climb.
#8 In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not track cases of scarlatina.
#9 Scarlet fever is a bacterial infection that is caused by group A Streptococcus or “group A strep.”
#10 It is contagious and spreads through close contact with individuals that are carrying the bacteria or with surfaces or objects that are contaminated with the bacteria. Moreover, the bacteria can be passed by sharing contaminated clothes, towels or bed linen.
#11 The infection is almost identical to streptococcal pharyngitis (an infection of the back of the throat including the tonsils) and is often referred to as “strep throat with a rash.”
#12 Risk factors for scarlet fever include:
- fall or spring is when strep bacteria most frequently circulate;
- a current strep throat infection;
- working, living, or going to school or church in tight quarters with large groups of individuals;
- being a parent of a school-aged child;
- being between five and 15-years old.
#13 Common symptoms include:
- stomach ache, especially in younger children;
- a sore throat;
- swollen lymph nodes;
- swollen tonsils;
- painful swallowing;
#14 Initially, during the 1st 2 days of the illness, affected individuals may have a white strawberry tongue.
#15 Other possible symptoms include:
- swollen neck glands which are tender to the touch;
- difficulty swallowing;
- broken blood vessels in the folds of the body (known as Pastia’s lines), for instance, the groin, armpits, knees, elbows, and neck;
- loss of appetite;
- feeling unwell;
#16 The incubation period is 3 to 5 days, with symptoms typically starting on the 2nd day of the disease and lasting from 4 to 10 days.
#17 Scarlatina generally fades on the 6th day after sore-throat symptoms started.
Peeling of the skin may continue up to 6 weeks and is most prominent in the groin, tips of the fingers and/or toes, and armpits.
When to Call the Doctor
#18 Talk to your healthcare professional if your kid has a sore throat with:
- a red rash;
- swollen or tender glands in the neck;
- a fever of 38.9 C (102 F) or higher.
#19 Complications are rare with proper treatment. They can include the following:
- glomerulonephritis (kidney damage) – it is an inflammation of the glomeruli;
- acute rheumatic fever – it is a sequela of streptococcal infection;
- hepatitis (liver damage);
- otitis media (ear infection) – an inflammation of the middle ear;
- bone problems (osteomyelitis);
- joint problems (arthritis);
- meningitis – it is an inflammation of the membranes which cover the brain and spinal cord;
- adenitis or abscess.
#20 Another serious complication is deafness which can occur due to complications of sinus infections and abscesses of the ear.
#21 Your doctor may check for scarlet fever by doing a:
- throat swab to do a test called rapid antigen detection;
- throat culture which shows bacteria from group A streptococcus;
- physical examination.
#22 Note – An early diagnosis can be done by recognizing the tell-tale signs of scarlatina. This could substantially help reduce the risk of complications, particularly in children.
#23 The main diagnostic signs of scarlatina are the characteristic rash and the presence of a strawberry tongue in children.
#24 The antibiotics most used to treat scarlet fever are amoxicillin and penicillin. For people who are allergic to penicillin, erythromycin 250mg four times per day is usually given.
#25 The infection generally clears up within seven days, however, your skin may peel for several weeks after the other symptoms have subsided.
#26 Individuals who have taken antibiotics for 2 days are no longer contagious and will typically already notice an improvement in symptoms.
#27 Natural treatments for scarlatina include:
- pink Himalayan salt;
- tea tree oil;
- coconut oil;
- apple cider vinegar;
- vitamin D;
- bee propolis;
- astragalus root – it is a staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine;
- Manuka honey;
- vitamin C;
- lemon essential oil.
#28 Other treatment options for scarlet fever may include:
- increased fluid intake;
- for fever or throat pain, acetaminophen or ibuprofen;
- to relieve a sore throat, warm saline mouth gargles.
#29 Currently, there is no vaccine for scarlet fever.
#30 If treated promptly with antibiotics, patients with scarlet fever usually recover completely.
#31 Prevention methods include:
- avoid sending children to school until they have been treated with antibiotics;
- avoid close contact with people who have been diagnosed with scarlet fever.
Famous People Who Had Scarlatina and Survived
- William Dean Howells – he was an American literary critic, realist novelist, and playwright;
- Helen Keller – she was an American political activist, author, and lecturer who survived scarlatina, but lost her hearing and sight;
- Thomas Edison – he was an American businessman and inventor who survived scarlet fever, however, it may have caused his partial deafness.