What Are the Symptoms of Scarlet Fever? - WebMD

England and Wales have seen a substantial rise in scarlet fever cases starting in 2014. The number of cases tripled from 2013 and continued to increase in 2015 and 2016, with England and Wales last year recording the highest number of cases there in a half-century, British scientists reported.

Scarlet fever is a rash accompanied by a sore throat caused by ..

Scarlet fever is a rash accompanied by a sore throat caused by the streptococcus .
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Understanding Scarlet Fever -- the Basics

Scarlet fever is not a reportable disease in the U.S., and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not track the condition. Scientists there are aware of the spike in cases in some jurisdictions, but a spokeswoman said officials have not heard of an increase in the United States.

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Scarlet fever is one of a diverse array of conditions caused by infection with a bacterium called Streptococcus pyogenes, better known as group A Strep. The bug can cause strep throat and impetigo — crust-forming skin sores that are highly contagious. It can also cause pneumonia and necrotizing fasciitis — flesh-eating disease.

Share this articleOne can describe sandpaper rash (scarlet fever) as a sore throat with a red rash
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Sometimes known as scarlatina, the condition gets its name from the diffuse red rash that is characteristic of the infection; the rash generally fades after about a week. It is accompanied by a high fever and often by strep throat. Most commonly diagnosed in children, it spreads in the saliva droplets coughed and sneezed out by infected individuals.

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Complications of the infection could be serious as well. Some children went on to develop rheumatic fever, a serious infection that causes heart damage. Other complications affect kidneys and joints.

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Scarlet fever is now treated with antibiotics, though even before these drugs were widely available the death toll of the infection fell markedly. By the 1950s deaths from scarlet fever were rare and by the 1980s cases of the disease were as well.

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Scarlet fever, a disease that struck fear into the heart of parents when cases surged in the days of yore, appears to be making an unexpected and puzzling comeback in parts of the world.

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“Scarlet fever epidemics have yet to abate in the U.K. and northeast Asia. Thus, heightened global surveillance for the dissemination of scarlet fever is warranted,” wrote Mark Walker and Stephan Brouwer, of the University of Queensland in Australia.

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In the 1800s and well into the 1900s, scarlet fever was commonplace. And even into the early years of the 20th century, deaths from the infection were common. Readers of the children’s novel “Little Women” will remember the tragic death of Beth March, who succumbed to scarlet fever — a fate she shared with author Louisa May Alcott’s real-life sister, Elizabeth.