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What is scarlet fever? How is it different to a regular fever?

By March 21, 2009 - 12:02pm
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Is scarlet fever even an actual fever? How do you get it and is it dangerous?

There is an outbreak in my area (esp. with kids) and I'd like to know a bit more about it.

thanks :)

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EmpowHER Guest

http://scarletfever.at.ua - site about scarletfevet

April 8, 2009 - 8:49pm

Hi ScooterGirl,

Scarlet fever, also known as "scarlatina" is most commonly a bacterial infection, and not a fever at all (however, a fever is one symptom of scarlatina, as well as the flushed cheeks, sore throat, etc). The nickname name "Scarlet Fever" came about probably because of the red rash and fever that appears with this illness.

A fever is a sign or symptom of an infection or illness, and not an illness within itself (actually, a fever can be a good thing, as it helps your body fight of infections).

Scarlet Fever used to be quite dangerous, especially in young children. It's helpful to know that it is common for kids between 5-15 years of age, and is treated by routine antibiotics in most kids. Signs and symptoms include sore throat (similar to strep throat), a red rash over most of the body, and a fever...you can read about it below.

According to the Mayo Clinic, here are some tips on how to prevent your kids from being infected with Scarlet Fever, since it is going around:

"The best prevention strategies for scarlet fever are the same as the standard precautions against infections. Teach your child to practice the following healthy habits:
* Wash your hands. Your child should learn to wash his or her hands thoroughly with warm soapy water.
* Don't share dining utensils. He or she shouldn't share drinking glasses or eating utensils with friends or classmates.
* Cover your mouth and nose. Your child should learn to cover his or her mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing to prevent the potential spread of bacteria.

If your child has scarlet fever, wash his or her drinking glasses, utensils and, if possible, toys in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher."

You can read more about Scarlet Fever at the resources below:
- EmpowHer's Encyclopedia on Scarlet Fever
- Mayo Clinic's Health Section on Scarlet Fever

March 22, 2009 - 6:47am
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