Scarlet fever is a bacterial infection caused by group A Streptococcus. This illness affects people who have strep throat or streptococcal skin infections. Scarlet fever is treatable with antibiotics and also helps clear up symptoms faster and reduces spread to other people. Although anyone can get scarlet fever, it usually affects children between 5 and 12 years of age. The classic symptom of the disease is not the fever, but a certain type of red rash that feels rough, like sandpaper.
Photo of Scarlet Fever Skin RashScarlet Fever Scarlet fever is strep throat with a rash. Symptoms include sore throat, fever, headache, belly pain, and swollen neck glands. After 1-2 days, a red rash with a sandpaper texture shows up. After 7-14 days, the rash rubs off. Scarlet fever is very contagious, so wash hands often to keep it from spreading. Call your child's doctor if you think your child has it. He'll probably be treated with with antibiotics.
Scarlet fever: an infectious disease which most commonly affects 4-8 year old children; symptoms: sore throat, fever, characteristic red rash; usually spread by inhalation; no vaccine, but it is effectively treated with antibiotics; most are caused by erythrogenic toxin, a substance produced by the bacterium Streptococcus pyrogenes (group A strep) when infected by a certain bacteriophage; before antibiotics, it was a major cause of death