Pediatricians treat a lot of diseases in children. A rare and benign disease of the child, not very contagious, scarlet fever is a bacterial infection caused by the streptococcus of group A (streptococcus). It is transmitted through the air and, most often, from an affected child. It is characterized by a sore throat, inflammation of the tonsils, and small scarlet red spots on the body. Treatment is based on antibiotics.

Causes and modes of transmission of scarlet fever

The bacterium is a Streptococcus Group A (streptococcus). The infection occurs, especially in cold weather, an epidemic affecting communities (school).

The infection is most often transmitted through the air from an affected child. The contamination from one person to another is by air (coughing, sneezing, sputum projected while speaking), or indirectly, by touching objects recently soiled by secretions. The contagion period is 10 to 21 days without treatment; it lasts only 24 to 48 hours with appropriate treatment.


The signs and symptoms that give scarlet fever its name include:

  • A red rash. The rash looks like a sunburn and feels like sandpaper. It usually begins on the face or neck and spreads to the trunk, arms, and legs. If pressure is applied to reddened skin, it turns pale.
  • Red lines. The folds of skin around the groin, armpits, elbows, knees, and neck usually turn a deeper red than the surrounding rash.
  • Reddened face. The face may appear flushed with a pale ring around the mouth.
  • Strawberry tongue. The tongue generally appears red and lumpy and is often covered in a white coating early in the disease.
  • The rash and redness of the face and tongue usually last about a week. After these signs and symptoms have subsided, the skin affected by the rash often peels off. Other signs and symptoms of scarlet fever may include the following:
  • A fever of 101 ° F or higher, often with chills
  • Very sore and red throat, sometimes with white or yellowish patches.
  • Difficulty to swallow
  • Enlarged glands in the neck (lymph nodes) that are tender to the touch
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache


There is no vaccine to prevent scarlet fever. The best prevention strategies for scarlet fever are the same as the standard precautions for infections:

Wash your hands. Show your child how to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Don’t share kitchen utensils or food. As a general rule, your child should not share glasses or utensils that were used with friends or classmates. This rule also applies to sharing food.

Cover your mouth and nose. Tell your child to cover his mouth and nose when he coughs or sneezes to prevent the possible spread of germs.

If your child has scarlet fever, wash his used glasses and utensils and, if possible, his toys in warm soapy water or in a dishwasher.

Treatment of scarlet fever from pediatricians

Scarlet fever is treated with antibiotics.

Contact Pediatricians in Gastonia NC

Scarlet fever is generally mild and could be treated with the use of antibiotics.

You may need to consult your pediatrician in some cases like if your child has a feverish of 104 ° F or more, he cries inexplicably, his breathing becomes difficult. Contact  Gastonia Pediatric Associates, your Gastonia area pediatricians, offers top-quality pediatric care.