Scarlet fever - symptoms, complications, treatment, prevention measures
Scarlet fever (scarlatina) usually occurs in populations in temperate climates, in autumn and spring. Pathogen penetrates through the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx, damaged skin, at least through the mucous membranes of the genitals. It is therefore considered that the main route of transmission of the causative agent - airborne, but not excluded, and contact-household transmission method. What is scarlet fever? It is a highly infectious disease that begins with symptoms of intoxication, a characteristic skin rash and sore throat. More often the disease affects only children of 2-10 years.
Signs of scarlet fever in children
Cause of infection is pyogenic bacteria streptococcus. This bacterium is part of group A streptococcal infections. In addition to scarlet fever, this bacterium can also cause other illnesses, such as acute pharyngitis, toxic shock syndrome, impetigo. Scarlet fever symptoms in children begin with a sore throat. Signs of the disease in this case coincide with signs of pharyngitis, scarlet fever rash, fever, headache, and difficulty swallowing. This form of the disease can develop into a rare but serious disease - rheumatic fever, which can cause damage to the heart valves, as well as trigger inflammation in the kidneys. The most common disease symptoms in children's are a bright red roseola rash over most of the body of the child. Another sign is red stripes, which are formed in the folds of the skin, especially in the neck, knees, groin, elbows and armpits. In severe cases it is possible very high temperature, red bumps on the tongue, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting, nausea. You can see scarlet fever pictures through Internet.
How to recognize scarlet fever?
If the doctor, checking the symptoms, suspects in a child infection by streptococcus, he will take on the analysis material from the tonsils and back of the child's throat. There strep bacteria is multiplied. The test for strep bacteria is needed because the symptoms of this illness can cause other diseases, which require very different treatments.
The complications of disease
The early complications of scarlatina include otitis media, sinusitis, mediastinitis, meningitis, cellulitis neck, sepsis, necrotizing fasciitis and toxic shock. The late complications of the illness are myocarditis, acute rheumatic fever, arthritis, glomerulonephritis, cholecystitis, and cholangitis.
Scarlet fever treatment in children
Doctors usually start therapy with antibiotics as penicillins (Augmentin, Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, Amoxil, others), macrolides (Erythromycin, Biaxin, Rulide, Zithromax and so on), rare cephalosporins (Omnicef, Cephalexin, —eftin, Suprax, —efotaxime, —efaclor, Ceclor, —efixime Oral Suspension) whose main task is to destroy various kinds of bacteria. A full course of antibiotics is usually ten days. Moreover, medications cannot be stopped, even if the symptoms of illness disappear, otherwise the effectiveness of the course of therapy will be reduced to zero. And while the child is taking antibiotics, you can use the extra home medicine to speed up recovery. One of the most acute symptoms is a severe sore throat. The child will be much easier to live, if try to ease the pain by sprays. Therewith this can be relieved both as the low temperature - cold drinks or ice cream, and warm - hot tea or broth. The next step in the treatment is getting rid of the itch. A characteristic strep rash is usually very itchy, especially towards the end, when it starts to peel off, and it becomes like sunburn. To relieve itching is possible by receiving antihistamines or corticosteroids pills (Benadryl, Zyrtec, Sterapred, Relent, Medrol, so on) and skin creams. Patient should drink plenty of fluids. This is to maintain a humid environment within the throat and to avoid dehydration. Treatment can also be performed using available non-prescription medicines. For example, for temperature control and pain relief patient can take anti-inflammatory medications (Panadol Extra, Motrin, Zupar and others drugs). Scarlet fever is an infection that takes a lot of strength in the child, and for the speedy recovery of the body and increase resistance to disease it is recommended the appointment of multivitamin supplements. Multivitamins can be started from the very first days of illness (the child should get no more than 5 medications at the same time). You can use any dietary supplements and vitamins and minerals, rich in vitamin C and iron. When choosing a medication you should consider the child's age and possible allergic reactions, so it is best to consult with your doctor.
Prevention of scarlet fever
Is scarlet fever contagious? Yes, it is. Disease is transmitted by close physical contact with the patient or by inhalation of bacteria that are found in saliva droplets of a person sneezes or coughs. The vaccine against scarlatina does not appear. People should protect themselves by precautions. Terms of scarlet fever prevention is as simple as any other rules. The only problem is that not all of children follow them. The task of parents is to instill in your child the following healthy habits:
- you need to wash your hands as often as possible, teach your child to do it right, with warm water and soap;
- do not allow child to share with anyone tableware or food - usually so often happens at school, when the child is divided utensils with friends or classmates;
- it is very important to explain to the child that it is better not to be around people who cough or sneeze.
On the other hand, such rules should operate in both directions, so the child also need to accustom to cover his mouth when he coughs or sneezes, when he is sick, to prevent the potential spread of germs. And if you are late, and your child is still sick, you need to stop the possible spread of diseases: wash glasses and dishes, which the child uses, wash the toys in hot soapy water or in the dishwasher. Although scarlet fever in adults is rare, infection is still possible. It is especially important to take preventive measures in case of pregnancy.