Scarlet fever, also known as scarlatina, is a bacterial infection caused by “group a” streptococcus. There is no vaccine, and the disease is typically treated with a round of antibiotics.
Possible symptoms to watch for are a red rash, fever, sore throat, redness in the underarms and groin, a whiteish tongue, swollen glands and body aches.
Untreated, scarlet fever can trigger rheumatic fever, kidney disease, ear infections, abscesses of the throat, pneumonia and arthritis.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these suggestions to prevent scarlet fever:
- Wash your hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing and before preparing foods or eating.
- Wash glasses, utensils and plates after someone who is sick uses them.
- Stay home from work, school or daycare until you no longer have a fever and have taken antibiotics for at least 24 hours.