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Scarlet fever (Scarlatina)

Scarlet fever is a streptococcal infection that occurs most often in association with a sore throat and rarely with impetigo or other streptococcal infections. It is characterized by sore throat, fever and a rash over the upper body that may spread to cover almost the entire body.

Signs and Symptoms of Scarlet Fever

Persons with scarlet fever have a characteristic rash that is fine, red, rough-textured and blanches upon pressure. Scarlet fever also produces a bright red tongue with "strawberry" appearance. The skin often "desquamates," or peels, after recovery, usually on tips of fingers and toes. Transmission of Scarlet Fever

The illness is spread by the same means as strep throat.


Other than the occurrence of the rash, the treatment and course of scarlet fever are no different from those of any strep throat.

Change in virulence Read any novel of the 18th century and Scarlet Fever often seems to be followed by many months in convalescense institutions. Most children now are ill for under a week. Whilst this is used as an example of the benefits of antibiotics, it is also true that the bacterial mutated in the early-mid 20th century into less virulent forms. The term Scarlatina is used to describe the modern milder disease.

Posted by Staff at May 10, 2005 10:58 PM

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Comments Archive

Hello. When I was about 6 or 7 years old I had Scarlitina. I would just like to say that you can treat the rash and make it become less itchy by soaking in an Oatmeal bath. I think you should use this in your treatment section because it worked wonders for me!

Thank You,
Katherine Smith

Posted by: Katherine Smith at November 29, 2005 3:13 AM

my son has it and is only 6 months old. will it scar or just be a passing illness? one day you couldnt see it and the next day it was noticable and the next it was obvious something was wrong.

Posted by: brenden boatright at June 11, 2006 8:51 AM

Hi Everyone,

I have a leaking valve and I recall my mom mentioning to me that I was very sick when I was a young child. She did mention Scarlatina. Since both my parents past away already, there is no way for me to learn more about it.

Your article gave me a thorough explanation, thank you.

Could you please enlighten me and tell me what is the difference between Rheumatic Fever and Scarlatina?

Thank you for you help.


Yona Giterman

Posted by: Yona Giterman at September 21, 2006 4:17 AM

please can you help me.. are the scars from scarlatina permanent? what can i do for them

Posted by: gay at January 17, 2007 5:12 PM