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Scarlet Fever

A streptococcal infection, mainly occurring among children, that is characterized by a red skin rash, sore throat, and fever.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Scarlet Fever

Thanks to antibiotics many bacterial infections can be effectively treated, including scarlet fever, which mainly affects children. Before the development of penicillin it could have severe complications, but nowadays the symptoms of scarlet fever are usually quite mild. But it is still important to take precautions so that no one else is infected.


Scarlet fever may cause the following symptoms:

A dark-red tongue is also typical of scarlet fever — it is sometimes referred to as a "strawberry tongue."... Read more about Scarlet Fever

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Recognition and Diagnosis of Sepsis in Adults: A Review of Evidence-Based Guidelines [Internet]

Sepsis is a condition resulting from the body’s response to severe infection and is a growing health concern in Canada. In Canada, more than 30,000 are hospitalized due to sepsis and related complications. Moreover, sepsis has a mortality rate of 30% and kills more than 9,000 people each year. Despite the significant risk of morbidity and mortality, adequate initial therapy is initiated in septic patients in fewer than 58% of cases. Sepsis represents a significant burden on health system resources; including an average of nine additional days in hospital compared to patients without sepsis. Moreover, literature suggests that simple interventions administered early in an emergency department visit can significantly impact sepsis mortality rates. Early diagnosis and effective treatment of sepsis is an important priority for policy especially in rural and remote settings wherein limitations to access care, lack of resources and low physician to population ratio are significant barriers.. A standardized set of guidelines for management and detection of sepsis in adults would be a significant progression in decreasing the burden of sepsis on population health.

Tonsillectomy for Obstructive Sleep-Disordered Breathing or Recurrent Throat Infection in Children [Internet]

To systematically review evidence addressing tonsillectomy in children with obstructive sleep-disordered breathing (OSDB) or recurrent throat infections.

Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization in the United States

To conduct a systematic review of the literature on the safety of vaccines recommended for routine immunization of children, adolescents, and adults in the United States as of 2011.

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Summaries for consumers

Scarlet fever: Overview

The typical signs of scarlet fever are a skin rash and a red tongue ("strawberry tongue"). Serious complications are rare nowadays: Because scarlet fever is caused by bacteria, it can easily be treated with antibiotics.

Fever in children: When is it a good idea to go to the doctor?

When children have a fever, the cause is usually a harmless viral infection. They are only rarely seriously ill. It is good for parents to know which symptoms could be signs of a serious illness, though.Many parents of children who have a fever feel worried and ask themselves the following questions: Is it something serious? Should we go to the doctor? Does the fever need to be lowered?Parents are in the best position to judge whether their child is behaving abnormally – for instance reacting differently to them or to a toy. The child may be much less active, feel very unwell or stop drinking. Their judgment and experience are very important, and can also be of help to the doctor.

Fever in children: Overview

Many parents start feeling anxious when their child has a hot, flushed face and is running a high fever. Most of the time a harmless viral infection is the cause. But it is still good for parents to know the signs of more serious medical problems and to realize when a doctor is needed.

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More about Scarlet Fever

Photo of a child

Also called: Scarlatina

See Also: Strep Throat

Other terms to know:
Lymph Nodes, Pharynx (Throat), Streptococcal Infections (Strep Infections)

Related articles:
Fever in Children

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