How to cure scarlet fever

Scarlet fever was a feared disease of the 19th century and there were many epidemics of high mortality. The mortality rate was 972 per million of population.

Dr. James Russell, regarded as father of public health, discovered scarlet fever, one of the deadly diseases of his time. This was considered one of child-killing diseases during that period.

Treatment of Scarlet Fever in 1800s:

Those suffering from the disease were taken in horse driven ‘fever cabs’ and were kept in isolation hospitals for weeks to prevent the infection from spreading. All personal belongings were burnt.

Once the patient was diagnosed as having scarlet fever, common treatment being followed during that period was blood letting. The therapeutic practice of blood letting was being followed from fifth century BC and was prevalent in many cultures. This practice was considered as logical during that period when the foundations of medical treatment was on the basis that the illness is due to imbalance of blood, phlegm, yellow bile or black bile. Purging, starving, vomiting and blood letting were to be followed to restore the balance.

In the early1800s, it was common for doctors to use a surgical knife to bleed a child until the lips and cheeks became pale and the child fainted. In addition, medicine to cause vomiting was prescribed to purify the body. The appearance of the child had to be kept under strict observation to identify the gravity of the illness. This was necessary as visual observation was the only means to decide how many more times the purification and purging to be carried out to restore balance and promote health.

A strict diet was also prescribed to avoid animal food, liquor and spices. Mothers and older female child were put on observation duty of keeping a close watch on the sick children. Hence, female family members were burdened by such additional duties other than running a household.

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How to cure scarlet fever

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How to cure scarlet fever Scarlet fever is caused by the streptococcus bacteria. These bacteria are carried in the nose and mouth and spread easily to cause infection. Children from 3 years to 8 years are at great risk of getting infected because they are vulnerable at that age and their bodies’ immune system has not fully developed to withstand the exposure to these bacteria. More..

by Yashoda Hospitals | Jul 14, 2017 | Pediatrics

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How to cure scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is caused by the same bacteria as Strep Throat and is characterized by a bright red rash
Scarlet Fever is a childhood illness caused by a bacterial infection. Although it is rather rare in recent times, it is serious and can often be caused by the same bacteria as strep throat. With better antibiotics, although it is now rare, if left undiagnosed, it can lead to further more permanent damage to the kidneys and the heart.

The name, scarlet fever comes from the characteristic bright red patches that form, that are a major symptom of the disease. The other symptoms of Scarlet Fever include:

  • Rash: resembling a severe sunburn, it begins usually in the neck or face and spreads then to the rest of the body.
  • Red lines around the armpits, elbows and knees
  • High fever with chills
  • Strawberry tongue: a swollen tongue with that can be bumpy and there may be thin white film on the tongue.
  • Pale skin around the lips

It is a good time to go see your doctor if your child has a fever of 102 F or higher, a red rash or swollen glands in the neck.

Scarlet fever is caused by a bacteria similar to one that causes strep throat. It is the toxin that is made by this bacteria that causes the bright red rash on the body and the red tongue. It is spread by droplets from the nose or the mouth of the infected person when they cough or sneeze.

While anyone who is exposed to an infected person is at risk children between 5 and 15 are most susceptible to Scarlet Fever.

The tests for scarlet fever include a physical exam of the throat and tonsils of the child. There is also a chance that a throat swab will be taken and the sample is sent for analysis. The doctor will also look for enlarged lymph nodes. Another definite part of the exam is the examination of the rash.

How to cure scarlet fever

Treatment and complications

Treatment for scarlet fever is normally antibiotics which help the system fight off the bacteria causing the infection. It is important to finish the entire course of the medicine for it to keep the infection at bay. There are no vaccinations available for scarlet fever yet.

Once treatment starts, the symptoms and side effects normally vanish. But if left untreated, there are several complications that could develop. Before stronger and more specific antibiotics, treating scarlet fever was difficult and was often fatal. With starting treatment at the right time, it is easy to cure Scarlet fever.

Some of the complications that one could develop from leaving scarlet fever untreated include:

  • Kidney disease
  • Ear infections
  • Skin infections
  • Throat abscesses
  • Rheumatic fever

The outlook for someone with a diagnosis of scarlet fever is positive because of the medication that is now available. But it is always a good idea to try and preventing contracting it in the first place. The best way to prevent getting a scarlet fever infection is to wash hands and to be rid of germs and not sharing utensils and food.

Why Yashoda?

Yashoda Hospitals’ Center for Paediatrics provides comprehensive care for children below the age of 18. The specialists that cater to them have a vast experience in all the sub-specialities of paediatric medicine and are capable of management of medical problems related to children. The center offers

Scarlet fever is most commonly found in children, which is mainly caused by erythrogenic toxin, which can be effectively treated with antibiotics.

Streptococcus pyogenes is the bacterium which produces Erythrogenic toxin. Scarlet fever is also called scarlatina.

This infection is mainly found affecting children between 5 and 15 years of age causing sore throat, fever and red rash on the body.

Rashes are found on the body and the tongue and these are major symptoms of scarlet fever.

Options For How to Cure Scarlet Fever

If you are wondering how to cure scarlet fever then the steps have been mentioned below:

How to cure scarlet fever


A ten day course of useful antibiotics can be of good help in treating scarlet fever. Antibiotics can be given in the form of amoxicillin or penicillin tablets.

Liquids can also be used if children are being treated for scarlet fever. There are some people who might be allergic to penicillin. For these people, erythromycin can be used.

Cool Baths

Cool baths help in reducing fever while a humidifier can be used for relieving sore throat. These are some basic options that can be used in treating scarlet fever.

Self Care

There are some easy self care measures that can be used for treating the symptoms of scarlet fever. Such self care measures include eating some soft foods, drinking cool fluids in large quantities and using antihistamine tablets or calamine lotion for reliving itching.

Over-The-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin can also be used for controlling scarlet fever. Gargles using salt water can help in minimizing the pain and the severity of sore throat.

Avoiding Social Activities

If you wonder how to cure scarlet fever then it is important for you to remain aware of the fact that avoiding social activities can help you do so in an effective manner.

How to cure scarlet fever

Scarlet fever might sound like a condition afflicting heroines in Victorian novels, but it’s a very real threat to primary school children today.

The highly contagious childhood illness is at a 50-year high, with over 19,000 cases in the UK in 2016, the majority in England.

Although most children bounce back from scarlet fever, it can be dangerous, and doctors are urging parents to familiarise themselves with the symptoms.

How to cure scarlet fever

How to cure scarlet fever

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What is scarlet fever?

Scarlet fever is a bacterial infection that mainly affects children under 10. It’s also known as scarlatina.

It was once a common cause of childhood death, but these days, it’s rarely serious and can be treated with antibiotics.

However, it’s important to get a quick diagnosis and the right treatment to prevent complications.

‘Knowing what to look for can help the infected child to get the treatment they need, fast, and avoid spreading this highly infectious disease,’ says Gary Ellis from health and safety training provider CE Safety.

What are the symptoms?

The early signs of scarlet fever are similar to many other childhood viruses and infections, and include:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • High temperature
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Vomiting

As the illness progresses, children usually develop a distinctive rash.

The scarlet fever rash usually starts on the chest or tummy, then spreads to other areas. It’s red and blotchy, and the patches may join up. The rash feels like sandpaper if you rub your hand across it, and may be particularly livid in skin folds like the elbows and armpits. It turns white if you press a glass against it.

The rash tends not to spread to the face, but your child may have bright red cheeks that look like they’re sunburnt.

The other trademark symptom of scarlet fever is a white coating that forms on the tongue and then peels away, leaving the tongue red and swollen. This is known as ‘strawberry tongue’.

How is it transmitted?

Scarlet fever spreads very easily. It’s a droplet infection, meaning it’s spread in the airborne droplets from coughs and sneezes.

This explains why it’s particularly common in primary school children, who spend most of their day in close contact with each other.

‘It’s important that we all remain vigilant,’ says Gary.

Scarlet fever can also be contracted from contact with contaminated bedding, towels and clothes, and from sharing bathwater with someone who’s infected.

Treating scarlet fever

If you think your child has symptoms of scarlet fever, see your GP as soon as possible. They’ll normally be able to make a diagnosis based on the appearance of the rash.

Usually, your child will be prescribed a five- to 10-day course of antibiotics, which reduce the length of time that they’re contagious for, speed up recovery, and help to prevent potentially serious complications like pneumonia and liver failure.

Most people will feel better within a few days, although the skin may continue to peel for several weeks.

If your child has been treated for scarlet fever and it hasn’t improved, or has got worse, after a week, you should take them back to the GP.

About one in 40 cases of scarlet fever needs treatment in hospital.

Once your child has had scarlet fever, it’s unlikely they’ll get it again.

Can scarlet fever be prevented?

Scarlet fever is contagious before the symptoms develop, which makes it difficult to prevent the spread.

It remains contagious until 24 hours after starting antibiotics, or up to three weeks if your child doesn’t have antibiotics.

If you suspect your child has scarlet fever, you should take them out of school immediately and keep them off for at least 24 hours after they’ve started taking antibiotics.

If they are feeling unwell or have a temperature, you’ll probably need to keep them home for longer than that.

Encourage your child to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, and throw the used tissue away immediately. They should wash their hands with soap and water regularly, and always after using a tissue.

Avoid sharing cutlery, cups and glasses, bed linen, towels, toys, clothes, bathwater and toys while your child is contagious.