Scarlet fever refers to a bacterial illness that develops in patients following a prior infection. It is characterized by a red rash that can be generalized.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Strains of Group A streptococcus that produce erythrogenic exotoxins. Scarlet fever can follow a streptococcal pharyngitis, wound infections, or streptococcal skin infections.
WHAT MAKES US SUSPECT IT?
- Generalized rash
- Pharynx is typical erythematous/swollen/covered with gray-white exudates.
- Area of mouth is pale
- Rash is punctate/finely papular texture (sandpaper-like description).
- Desquamation can occur later on.
HOW DO WE TREAT IT
Penicillin V is the preferred treatment method.
For those allergic to penicillin: erythromycin, clindamycin, and first generation cephalosporins.
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Page Updated: 11.21.2016