Alternate Names : Scarlatina
Scarlet fever is a disease caused by infection with the group A Streptococcus bacteria (the same bacteria that causes strep throat).
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Scarlet fever was once a very serious childhood disease, but now is easily treatable. It is caused by the streptococcal bacteria, which produce a toxin that leads to the hallmark red rash of the illness.
The main risk factor is infection with the bacteria that causes strep throat. A history of strep throat or scarlet fever in the community, neighborhood, or school may increase the risk of infection.
Pictures & Images
Signs of scarlet fever
Scarlet fever is a disease caused by an infection with group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal bacteria that occurs in a small percentage of people with strep throat. The illness typically begins with a fever and sore throat. It may be accompanied by chills, vomiting, abdominal pain and malaise. The streptococcal bacteria produces a toxin that causes a rash that appears one to two days after the onset of illness. The rash initially appears on the neck and chest, then spreads over the body. While the rash is still red, the patient may develop Pastia’s lines, bright red coloration of the creases under the arm and in the groin.
Normal lungs and alveoli
The lungs are located in the chest cavity and are responsible for respiration. The alveoli are small sir sacs where oxygen is exchanged in the lungs.
Review Date : 8/12/2008
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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