scarlet fever

Scarlet fever, also known as scarletina, is an infectious disease caused by a certain strain of streptococcus; it is a form of group A strep disease that can follow strep throat. Scarlet fever is common in children and causes sore throat with tonsillitis, a characteristic skin rash and mild systemic symptoms. It is transmitted through direct contact with throat mucus, nasal discharge, or saliva of an infected person.

In addition to the symptoms of strep throat, a red rash appears on the sides of the chest and abdomen. It may spread to cover most of the body. This rash appears as tiny, red pinpoints and has a rough texture like sandpaper. When pressed on, the rash loses color or turns white. Other symptoms can include dark red lines in the folds of your skin, and a bright strawberry-red tongue and flushed face, while the area around your mouth remains unchanged. The skin on the tips of the fingers and toes often peels after you get better. Severe cases may be accompanied by high fever, nausea, and vomiting.


An antibiotic, such as penicillin, and symptomatic treatment is required.