Once in the body, the bacterium usually settles on the tonsils in the throat and begins to multiply, while releasing large portions of erythrotoxin. The incubation period of scarlet fever can last from one to twelve days. More often it is limited to terms from 2 to 7 days.
Its duration depends largely on the general condition of the child at the time of infection – the presence of a cold, hypothermia, diseases of the upper respiratory tract, immunity, etc. In addition, the duration of the incubation period may still be affected by the medication, or more precisely antibacterial drugs, which can extend it by two or more weeks.
This disease almost always begins acutely, with a significant rise in temperature and sore throat. The first signs of scarlet fever are very similar to signs of angina. This disease is accompanied by general malaise, pain when swallowing, headaches, burning sensation in the throat, difficulty swallowing, staining of the soft palate in a rich bright red color, an increase in tonsils, the formation of plaque on them, sometimes pustules. Under the lower jaw glands can swell, and therefore it becomes painful for the patient to open his mouth.
Almost always, when scarlet fever occurs, vomiting occurs, sometimes abdominal pain, convulsions, and delirium can occur.
Other characteristic symptoms of scarlet fever in children are rashes. The rash appears approximately twelve hours after the onset of the disease; it is a reaction to erytotoxin. In this case, the overall color of the skin becomes reddish, and the eruptions themselves are small red dots with a darker red tint than the general background. Such a rash quickly spreads over the body, it is especially pronounced in the areas of the bend of the limbs and on the sides of the body. It is noteworthy that it does not affect the nasolabial triangle. It remains light and usually stands out strongly against the background of a body strewn with a rash and bright red cheeks.
During scarlet fever, the skin becomes very dry and rough. The tongue becomes bright red, sharply enlarged nipples are observed on its surface.
The rash can last up to two to five days, after which it begins to turn pale, in parallel there is a decrease in body temperature. By the end of the first or the beginning of the second week of the disease, usually the skin begins to peel off, first on the face, after on the body, feet and hands.
If an infection has occurred through a wound on the skin, all the above symptoms of scarlet fever will be observed, except for symptoms similar to angina (sore throat, enlarged tonsils, pain when swallowing, etc.).
Scarlet fever can occur in three forms – severe, medium and light. Depending on them, the recovery time may vary.
Today scarlet fever is most often in mild form. In this case, all the main symptoms are mild and usually disappear by the fifth day of illness. The average form is more pronounced all manifestations of the disease, in this case, the febrile period lasts up to seven days. Currently, the severe form of scarlet fever is extremely rare. It has pronounced symptoms and often leads to complications.
Complications of scarlet fever may be as follows :
- kidney damage;
They can appear both in the early and late stages of the disease, as well as after it. Today, scarlet fever is considered a dangerous disease because of the development of complications that can occur with any form of the disease. They are purulent and allergic.
The first occur more often in young children, with a weakened previous illness health. Allergic (arthritis, nephritis) usually join scarlet fever for 2-3 weeks. More often they develop in older children. Timely treatment and a protective regimen will help minimize the likelihood of complications.
Treatment of scarlatin
Streptococci are very sensitive to antibiotics, so the main treatment for scarlet fever in children is with antibacterial drugs. Most often, for this purpose, agents based on penicillin or its analogs are used; in case of intolerance of this substance, macrolides can be used, for example, Azithromycin, in severe cases – cephalosporins.
Usually within a day or even less after the start of antibiotics, the patient’s condition improves markedly. It is very important not to stop treatment with antibacterial drugs even with the normalization of well-being (usually it takes 5-6 days). If antibiotics are interrupted until the recommended course is completed, the likelihood of complications is very high.
Due to the fact that many toxins are secreted by streptococcus, children are often prescribed antiallergic drugs, for example, Suprastin. To reduce the temperature, it is recommended to use paracetamol or ibuprofen products. Little kids can offer syrups or put candles. Vitamin C and calcium supplements may also be given.
To relieve the symptoms of angina, you can use a local treatment – rinsing with a solution of furatsilina or herbs.
Medium and mild forms of the disease have recently been treated at home, children are hospitalized with them extremely rarely. A sick child should be kept in bed for at least five days. During the period of acute phenomena, it is recommended that children be given predominantly pureed liquid and semi-liquid food that has a comfortable temperature (the food should not be cold or hot). In order to quickly remove toxins from the body, the child needs to drink more, the fluid rate should be determined individually based on the weight of the baby. After the symptoms subside, you can begin a gradual transition to the usual diet.
It is necessary to completely isolate the child for at least ten days. After that, it can be taken out for short walks. But it is necessary to minimize communication with others, especially other children. This is due to the fact that repeated contact with the bacterium streptococcus poses scarlet fever and poses a serious danger – complications and allergic diseases. From the beginning of the illness and until close contact with other children, it should take at least three weeks, only after this time the child can go to school or kindergarten.
With timely and proper treatment, almost all children recover without problems, and they do not develop any complications.
Very carefully should be treated to all kinds of “grandmother’s” methods of treatment. Folk remedies for scarlet fever are ineffective, and sometimes can even be harmful. The only thing that can be used safely is chamomile, sage, calendula, and it is better to collect these herbs for gargling. In addition, you can offer your child lime tea.
Prophylaxis of scarlatin
Unfortunately, in everyday life it is impossible to fully protect against infections that cause scarlet fever. The chances of getting it are most high in children who have reduced immunity and anemia, are deficient in vitamins, and are prone to excessive exertion and stress. In this regard, the best prevention of scarlet fever in children is a balanced diet, hardening and proper rest. In addition, in order to minimize the likelihood of developing scarlet fever, tonsillitis should be treated promptly and completely.
Prevention of scarlet fever by contact of a person who was not ill with this disease with an infected person consists of frequent hand washing and patient use separate dishes and personal hygiene items. To reduce the risk of spreading the disease to a minimum, it is recommended to place it in a separate room and conduct regular airing and disinfection in it. For additional protection against infection, healthy family members may wear masks.
Where can you get scarlet fever
Many dads and moms care about whether scarlet fever is contagious, this question can be answered unambiguously – and very much so. Streptococcus enters the body mainly by airborne droplets (this can occur during a conversation, when coughing, sneezing, kissing, etc.).
Less commonly, infection can occur through clothing, dirty toys, household items, and even food, sometimes through wounds, abrasions, etc. The source of infection is sick, not only scarlet fever, but other variants of streptococcal infection (eg, angina), as well as a healthy carrier of this bacterium.
The patient becomes infectious from the first day of the illness, however, the likelihood of transmission is highest during the acute period. Also, the child may be a carrier of bacteria for a month after the illness, and sometimes even longer, especially if he has inflammation of the throat and nasopharynx and complications with purulent secretions.
The probability of scarlet fever in children attending kindergartens, clubs and schools is much higher (about 3-4 times) than in those raised at home. The main causes of scarlet fever in children’s institutions are, above all, the negligence of parents who do not pay attention to the first signs of the disease or send their children to the community earlier than the established time. In order to prevent epidemics, in the event of suspicious symptoms, the child should be immediately isolated and a doctor should be consulted. In time to recognize the disease, consider in detail the signs of scarlet fever.