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Dictionary The Immune System

Scarlet fever

Synonyms :  Scarlatina

Clinical features, Diagnosis, Management, Prognosis, Nutrition, Herbs,

    Scarlatina (Scarlet fever) is a bacterial infection caused by group A haemolytic Streptococcus pyogenes that produces an erythrogenic toxin responsible for characteristic skin rash. The primary site of infection is usually the pharynx or the tonsils, and it is transmitted by air-borne route, or more rarely by milk or ice cream contaminated by streptococci. Scarlet fever occurs most commonly in children but it is relatively uncommon today because of efficient antibiotics. The incubation period is 2-4 days.

Clinical features:  < BACK TO TOP >

           It has a sudden onset usually with sore throat, fever, shivering, headache and vomiting.

           The tonsils are enlarged and may be covered with a patchy whitish purulent exudate.

           There is tender enlargement of the surrounding lymph nodes.

           The surface of the tongue is coated white, with the papillae enlarged and bright red (‘white strawberry tongue?.

           Subsequently, desquamation (peeling) occurs, and the whole tongue appears red (‘red strawberry tongue?.

           The rash, which usually appears first behind the ears on the second day, rapidly becomes a generalised erythema with roughened skin (‘sandpaper rash?/i>).

           It is most intense in the flexures of the arms and legs and in the groin.

           It blanches on pressure except in the skin folds where dark red lines of lymphangitis can be noticed (Pastia’a sign).

           The face is not affected by the rash, though it is usually flushed due to fever, and the region round the mouth is pale.

           The rash fades in about 1 week and in succeeded by desquamation.

Diagnosis:  < BACK TO TOP >

           It is essentially clinical based on characteristic clinical picture.

           Leukocytosis with a marked shift to the left (increased number of young leukocytes) can be demonstrated.

           A profuse growth of streptococci on culture can usually be obtained from a throat swab.

           Rapid antigen detection tests are very sensitive for detecting streptococci in throat swabs. 

    Complications:

           The complications are less common today due to the introduction of effective antibiotics.

           Acute otitis media and sinusitis may occur.

           Rheumatic fever and glomerulonephritis are rare complications which develop 2 or 3 weeks after the onset of any haemolytic streptococcal infection.

Management  < BACK TO TOP >

           The treatment of scarlet fever is the same as for plain streptococcal throat infection.

           Patients respond rapidly to penicillin antibiotics.

Prognosis  < BACK TO TOP >

    -

Nutrition < BACK TO TOP >

Nutrition that alleviate or prevent Scarlet fever :-
C

Herbs < BACK TO TOP >

Herbs that alleviate or prevent Scarlet fever :-
-

(source : -)

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